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    Preface to Special Issue on Electronic Electroplating
  • Electroplating is a process using electric current to deposit a layer of metal(s), which is an indispensable technique in the manufacture of integrated circuits and micro-nano electronic devices. Electroplating for modern electronics is much smaller in scale than the ordinary electroplating processes and relies heavily on foreign technique, such as proprietary materials and equipment. As the competition in the field of chip manufacture intensifies, we realize that there is no choice but to become self-sufficient in such technology, including, but not limited to electroplating technology.

    In this way, Prof. Shigang Sun, as an Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, leads more than 100 national experts both from academic and industrial fields to carry out a consultation and evaluation project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences titled “current situation and development of my country electronic electroplating foundation and industry”. The aim of this project is to sort out the bottleneck technology of electronic electroplating process with effective countermeasures and strategic development suggestions.

    After warmly discussion and comprehensive literature research, the following scheme was concluded by experts to express the connotation of today’s electronic electroplating. A typical equation of chemical reaction is introduced to describe the electronic electroplating: the reactants in the electroplating bath deposit on the substrate through an electrochemical reaction to form a thin film with electronic functionality. The three major factors, such as electrolyte bath, electroplating conditions and substrate, govern the characteristics of the deposited film, such as chemical composition, microstructure, and thickness, which lead to the electronic functionality of the thin film. Therefore, the main objective of electronic electroplating research is the regulation of these three factors on the thin film and the understanding of their influence on the electronic functionality. Specifically, the electrolyte bath is mainly composed of main salts, supporting electrolytes and functional additives, while the electroplating conditions contains temperature, pH, convection, current form, and etc. It is generally believed that the composition, conductivity, and surface status of the substrate affects the crystal orientation, thickness distribution, and micro-via filling rate of the thin film. These electrodeposited thin films can be metals, alloys, compounds or polymers, and have the property of converting electrical power or electrical signals into other forms, such as mechanic force, sound, light, electricity, magnetic and chemical energy, and etc., of which are potential candidates to produce functional components and electronic parts after processes such as lithography and packaging.

    Figure 1.   Scheme of main concepts of electronic electroplating: electronic thin film formed from electrolyte by electrodeposition to fabricate electronic component.

    In addition, according to industrial significance of the electronic electroplating process, Prof. Sun as the journal Editor also invited the experts to submit over 20 high-quality articles to the Journal of Electrochemistry to produce a Special Issue of Electronic Electroplating, covering the electrochemical manufacturing, numerical simulation and electrochemical theory on copper, cobalt, nickel, silver, gold and metal alloy interconnection and other nonmetal film for chips, printed circuit board and glass substate from electronic electroplating process. Professors of Ming Li, Zhidong Chen and Wei He are invited to be the Guest Editors, who also contribute 8 articles in the Special Issue.

    The growth of copper and its alloy after electroplating or corrosion are used to generate indispensable metal interconnection as shown in 11 articles in the Special Issue. Including 2 comprehensive review articles by Prof. Ding from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Prof. Yu from Xiamen University. M. Z. An and co-workers used a newly developing research method—“numerical simulation to study the influence of parameters of periodic pulse reverse in through hole electroplating”. J. D. Chen experimentally studied the effect of “pulse plating additives and plating parameters for high aspect ratio through holes”. Y. M. Chen et al. reported their “investigation of through-hole copper electroplating with methyl orange as a special leveler”. Besides that, Y. M. Chen contributed another paper titled “Effect of corrosion inhibitors on copper etching to form thick copper line of PCB in acidic etching solution”. Furthermore, “Electrodeposition of copper pillar bumps”, which is one of the key technologies for the advanced packaging, was studied and reported by J. Y. Luo et al. Moreover, Prof. Z. D. Chen group also devoted 2 papers to electrodeposition of copper in this special issue titled “Effect of sodium alcohol thiyl propane sulfonate on electrolysis of high-performance copper foil for lithium ion batteries”, and “Electrochemical SERS study of benzotriazole and 3-mercapto-1-propanesulfonate in acidic solution on copper electrode”.

    Besides copper interconnection, cobalt with low resistivity is considered to be the next-generation interconnect metal due to a short electron mean free path for interconnect lines with 7 nm in width. This special issue also includes 4 papers on the topic of cobalt plating by Z. L. Wang et al., Y. W. Wu et al., T. Hang et al. and M. Z An et al. that respectively describe the state-of-the-art of “electroless cobalt plating and the bottom-up filling of electroless plating”, the state-of -the-art of “cobalt interconnects and its superfilling by electroplating in chips”, the study on “the interface corrosion behaviors of cobalt interconnects in chemical mechanical polishing slurry”, and the “influence of suppressing additive malachite green on superconformal cobalt filling and nucleation”.

    Two articles presented the fundamental study on cyanide-free deposition. F. Z. Yang and co-workers developed “a novel cyanide-free gold sulfite bath” and studied the “electrodeposition mechanism and process” in it. J. W. Zhao et al. reported their work on “weak alkaline cyanide-free silver plating process for etching lead frame”. In this special issue, there are 2 articles showed other possible directions of electronic plating, which are titled “Electrodeposition of functional epitaxial films for electronics” (Z. He et al.) and “Study on low voltage electrodeposition of diamond-like carbon film” (Z. D. Chen et al.).

    In the end, we appreciate all academic and industrial experts for their hard working and promotion of electronic electroplating. We also would like to thank all the authors and the reviewers to facilitate the production of the Special Issue on electronic electroplating.

    Title: Preface to Special Issue on Electronic Electroplating

    The contents of special issue: http://electrochem.xmu.edu.cn/EN/1006-3471/current.shtml

  • Pubdate: 2022-07-20    Viewed: 597