Browse Prior Art Database

Low Temperature Process for Surface Cleaning

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000102788D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 37K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cuomo, JJ: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a process where surfaces such as copper are cleaned effectively at room temperature by an intense hydrogen plasma produced by microwave or ECR discharges. Surfaces contaminated with both oxide and oil residue are cleaned in a matter of minutes when exposed to the intense atomic hydrogen environment. Reentrant surfaces are also cleaned.

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Low Temperature Process for Surface Cleaning

      Disclosed is a process where surfaces such as copper are
cleaned effectively at room temperature by an intense hydrogen plasma
produced by microwave or ECR discharges. Surfaces contaminated with
both oxide and oil residue are cleaned in a matter of minutes when
exposed to the intense atomic hydrogen environment.  Reentrant
surfaces are also cleaned.

      Processes for surface decontamination, such as oxide and
organic removal, usually involve heating the object to high
temperatures in order to promote reaction between the contaminant and
the active gas, i.e., oxygen gas for the organics and hydrogen gas
for oxides.  For example, a copper part when heated to several
hundred oC in hydrogen will have its oxide removed.  However, at this
temperature the copper becomes "dead soft" and undergoes grain
growth.

      An intense hydrogen plasma produced by a microwave or ECR
discharge can effectively clean surfaces such as copper without a
significant increase in the temperature of the part.  This can be
used as a pretreatment to joining processes.  It can be extended to
stainless steel and other metals.  It is an excellent method of
pretreatment for adhesion, preparing surfaces for soldering,
particularly where the use of wet chemistry and high temperature are
not desirable.

      Disclosed anonymously.