The wet plating process is not a new technology.

Several relics indicate that humans developed a crude wet plating process more than 2,000 years ago. Alchemists upgraded the plating process to change metallic lead to gold. It is indeed possible — all you need is a particle accelerator, a vast supply of energy and an extremely low expectation of how much gold you will end up with. After the Second World War, a physical dry plating process (vacuum evaporation and sputtering) was developed. The wet plating processes could be replaced by the dry physical process, especially in electronics industry; however, the wet plating process remains the popular metallization processes in the 21st century for electronic components and printed circuit boards.

The wet plating processes and the dry physical processes both have advantages and disadvantages. Manufacturers select an appropriate plating technology based on each project.

Sputtering is a capable process for metallizing nonconductive materials, especially with plastic resins. However, the process must be performed in vacuum chambers. Therefore, the sizes of the parts are limited and cost per unit is high. On the other hand, wet electroless plating offers flexible part sizes and shapes, and has the advantage of lower cost and investment, making this process attractive. The lesser applicability of electroless plating processes compared with sputtering is a disadvantage.

There was significant technical progress with chemicals and surface treatments used in electroless plating over the past decade. Nowadays, plating chemicals provide a secure bond strength with the metallic layer on the inert surface of plastic substrates. Manufacturers discovered that employing several chemical and physical treatments before the chemical plating process is very effective in achieving stable bond strength. The new wet plating process can produce low-cost copper laminates with polyimide film substrates by roll-to-roll.

DKN Research Group reviewed the plating processes using the new chemicals for metallization of plastic materials. We confirmed a stable copper layer with a thin nickel-seed layer on the surface of polyimide films. We documented high performances from PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PEN (polyethylene terenaphthalate), Polyolefin resin, PEEK (polyethylethylketon), LCP (liquid crystal polymer), fluorocarbon resins and more. DKN expanded the list of applicable materials; we are eager to conduct chemical metallization on new materials. Feel free to contact us with some with your material challenges for metallization.

DKN Research Newsletter #1906, March 10, 2019 (English Edition) (Micro Electronics & Packaging)

Correction: Newsletter #1901

Line 16, incorrectly used the year 2019; 2017 is the correct year

Line 18, incorrectly used 11.91 US dollars; $19.67 billion is correct

Dominique K. Numakura, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DKN Research,

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Headlines of the Week

1. Renesas (Major semiconductor manufacture in Japan) developed a new cross domain microprocessor “RH850/U2A” with embedded flash memory as the controller of the automobile equipment.

2. Olympus (Major optical device manufacturer inn Japan) commercialized a new soft wear “EndoBRAIN” as the support system for the medical diagnoses process with optical endoscope.

3. Toshiba (Major electric & electronics company) developed an image recognition device with SoC (system-on-chip) technologies. It is 10 times faster for processing, four times higher energy efficiency. 4. Sharp (Major electronics company in Japan) rolled out a network monitoring camera “YK-H021A” with embedded microphone for business use. <

5. Tokyo University (Japan) established a manufacturing process for high-precision mirrors of x-rays. The technology is also available for semiconductor equipment.

6. Asahi Kasei (Major chemical company in Japan) started field tests of a carbon dioxide concentration monitoring system in the living environment. The system monitors heat distribution in the area.

7. Panasonic (Major electronics company in Japan) completed zero-emission manufacturing of carbon dioxide at two plants in Japan and Belgium. Panasonic will expand the activity worldwide.

8. Teijin (Major material supplier) developed a high-heat-resistant carbon fiber prepreg for engines of the jet airplanes. The new material also has very high mechanical strength.

9. Tohoku University (Japan) developed a flexible hall device introducing thin-film magnet of FeSn alloy as the magnetic sensors for IoT systems.

10. Nippon Chemi-Con (Major device supplier in Japan) codeveloped a new EDLC device as a high-energy density storage capacitor for EV automobiles.

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