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Electroplating and Electroless Plating Process Development for DuPont GreenTape™ 9K7 LTCC
Keywords: LTCC, Electroplating, Electroless Plating
Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) technology provides an attractive packaging platform for microwave and millimeter wave circuits and systems due to its unique properties. Generally, thick film gold or silver conductors are used as metallizations on LTCC substrates along with occasional use of copper thick films. This paper reports methods and results of extensive process development experiments DuPont has undertaken to establish a commercially viable plating process for the market leading GreenTape™ 9K7 LTCC system. Both Electroplating and Electroless plating processes are investigated in this work. These techniques provide certain advantages when used in isolation or in combination with standard thick film metallizations, helping to extend their applicability. Electroplating of copper on LTCC provides a means of using copper as the external conductor without having to use complicated firing processes in oxygen-free atmosphere as required for copper thick film. This approach leads to a much more cost effective approach if copper is required as the external metal. Electroless Nickel/Gold plating (ENIG) of both silver and copper (electroplated and/or thick film) provides an industry standard, highly reliable, robust surface finish. Such surface finish enables easy integration of both soldering and wire bonding processes.
Deepukumar Nair, Technical Manager - Microwave Packaging
Research Triangle Park, NC

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