We regularly publish articles on electroplating.

Developing a functional Cr(III) electrolyte to replace carcinogenic and toxic Cr(VI) electroplating requires a deeper understanding of the deposition mechanisms. Hence, this study investigates and compares the growth of chromium on inert glassy carbon (GC) electrodes from low-concentration Cr(III) and Cr(VI) electrolytes, using a novel potentiodynamic deposition scheme. This allows the initial stages of deposition to be probed, which are crucial for determining the overall deposition mechanism. Scanning electron microscopy shows that, for both systems, micrometer-sized hexagonal chromium hydride crystals could be deposited on GC, thus serving to be the first reporting of such structures. In addition, by increasing the deposition time, the changes in a particle structure for both systems were tracked; therefore, possible areas of similarity as well as key differences could be identified, which, when addressed may provide a more viable, environmentally friendly trivalent electrolyte for chromium electroplating.more

HDI-PCBs are essential for the production of powerful electronic handheld devices like smartphones and tablet PCs. Complete filling of blind microvias, which are used for electrical interconnection of different HDI-PCB layers, with electroplated copper enables an increased miniaturization of HDI-PCBs, but for enhanced miniaturization the use of fine lines is mandatory. In order to avoid or at least reduce process steps like chemical or mechanical copper thinning prior to fine line etching, modern electrolytes for blind microvia filling should plate only a thin copper layer on the PCB surface.more

Due to progressive miniaturisation in electronics modern handheld devices integrate an increasing number of functions in one single device. One key element of these devices is the HDI PCB which enables at minimum space requirement the connection of high pin count IC packages. The interconnection of PCB layers is mainly achieved by blind microvias which typically have diameters less than 150 µm and depths ranging from 50 to 150 µm. In order to achieve a high signal integrity the blind microvias have to be electroplated with copper and therefore appropriate electrolyte systems have to be developed.more