Berlin -- November 2012 -- The insatiable demand for greater computing power and the mission to fulfill Moore’s Law continue to drive technological advancement. As for the next generation IC-packaging industry, there is an undeniable need to satisfy the demands for finer lines and space on conductors. The new NEAP is one of the technologies that will overcome the obstacles the IC-packaging industry currently faces in trying to meet the requirements for future MPU architecture.
The new NEAP
Major MPU (Micro Processor Unit) makers are starting to focus on the use of dielectric materials with low signal loss (low loss tangent). In order to meet the higher frequency specifications of the next generation MPUs, more exotic materials will come into use. These include, for example, cyanide ester and PPE (polyphenyl ether). To these exotic high frequency materials, the new NEAP (non etching adhesion promoters) can offer a reliable bonding capability.
“Unlike some of the other commercially available non-roughening adhesion promoters, the newly developed NEAP does not require an interposer layer such as a thin layer of tin,” explains Dr. Rami Haidar, Global Product Manager for Surface Treatment Technology at Atotech Deutschland GmbH in Berlin, Germany. “By avoiding the use of a metal interposer layer, the new NEAP process is more cost competitive and environmentally friendly.”
Mechanical versus Chemical NEAP
Most of the commercially available NEAP processes are based solely on chemical bonding that provides the adhesion between the smooth conductor surface and dielectric materials. The potential weakness of such chemical bonding is its adhesion performance, which depends highly on the type of material that the adhesive layer is bonded to.
“The new NEAP provides mechanical bonding,” states Dr. Haidar. “It propagates a nano-scale structure of copper oxide that forms a thin anchoring layer with increased surface area.” One of its most significant advantages over chemically bonded NEAPs is its independence of adhesion performance from various types of dielectric material.
The new NEAP process also adds surface area to the conductors. Furthermore, research findings show that copper oxide on the surface hardly contributes to surface roughness, which the Rq (root mean square) measured to be less than 250 nm.
Non etching adhesion promoters
The use of NEAP is one of the key technologies for inner and outer layer bonding between conductors and dielectric materials. It enables state-of-the-art IC-substrate manufacturing and meets the technical specifications of major MPU manufacturers.
For future packaging substrates, the L/S (Lines and Spaces) become increasingly finer, even below 8/8 μm. This poses a steep challenge for manufacturers in regard to etching such fine tracks, since the current PoR (Process of Record) for adhesion promoters in the packaging industry is still an etching-based system.
The NEAP systems offer a dependable solution to such difficulties. They manage to maintain the original conductor geometry while reliably providing sufficient adhesion.
With annual sales of €893 million, Atotech is one of the world's leading manufacturers of processes and equipment for the printed circuit board (PCB) industry and the decorative and functional electroplating industry. Committed to sustainability, Atotech deve-lops technologies that minimize waste and reduce environmental impact. Atotech, a division of the Total Group, is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and employs about 3,800 people in over 40 countries.
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