Galvanic process for filling through-holes with metals, in particular of printed circuit boards with copper

 

The present invention relates to a galvanic process for filling through-holes with metals. The process is particularly suitable for filling through-holes of printed circuit boards with copper. The process comprises the following steps: formation of a narrow part in the center of a through-hole by electroplating; and filling the through-hole obtained in step with metal by electroplating.

 

 

This application is a National Stage application of International Application No. PCT/EP2005/009332, filed Aug. 30, 2005, which claims priority to German Patent Application No. DE 10 2004 045 451.5, filed Sep. 20, 2004.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Exemplary embodiments of the invention are described herein with reference to the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1a is a diagram depicting a V-shaped deposit located in a through-hole of a workpiece;
FIG. 1b is a diagram depicting a rounded narrow shaped deposit located in a through-hole of a workpiece;
FIG. 2 is a diagram depicting a through-hole of a workpiece after formation of a narrow part in the hole center and subsequent filling of the through-hole; and
FIG. 3 is a diagram depicting a pulse reverse current with a phase-shift and a pulse pause.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to a galvanic process for filling through-holes with metals. The process is particularly suitable for filling through-holes of printed circuit boards with copper. The process provides durable fillings even in the case of small hole diameters, undesired inclusions in the through-hole can be avoided. Furthermore, the filling exhibits very good thermal conductivity.
The ever increasing miniaturization of electronic components simultaneously leads to an increase in the integration density. In printed circuit boards the trend towards miniaturization is reflected in the following construction parameters: reduction of pad diameters and conductor width/conductor gap as well as improved registration and increase in the number of layers (cf. Der europäicische Technologie-und Trendbericht 2001/2002 über Leiterplatten mit hohen Integrationsdichten1). 1The European Technology and Trend Report 2001/2002 Concerning Printed Circuit Boards with High Integration Densities
Printed circuit boards having these properties are generally referred to as printed circuit boards with high integration density (so-called High Density Inter-connection or HDI).
An important aspect in such HDI circuits in printed circuit board production is the filling of through-holes (so-called via-holes). The filling of the through-holes puts extremely high requirements on process control. The most different types of drill holes have to be taken into account, the various requirements on the filler materials have to be met and the subsequent working steps in a printed circuit board have to be taken into account.
The main focus of the present invention is the filling of through-holes in printed circuit boards which go through the entire board (Plated Through Hole, PTH) and of interior vias (buried vias).
In principle, the process is suitable for filling through-holes in the most different workpieces, in particular board-shaped workpieces and board-shaped electric circuit carriers containing through-holes.
The closing of the through-holes is necessary inter alia so as to prevent the deposition of solder on the components, to achieve a high integration density and to improve the electrical properties. In multi-layer printed circuit boards inclusions (of air, solvent, etc.) in the holes might occur during the laminating of the next build-up layer, which inclusions later on in the case of thermal stresses lead to bulges and, consequently, cracks in the next layer.
Thus, the main requirements to be fulfilled by the filler materials for through-holes are:
    • the absence of solvents
    • good adhesive properties to the sleeve and solder resist
    • resistance to process chemicals in subsequent steps (e.g. galvanic metallization with nickel, gold or tin).
    • resistance in hot air leveling processes.
In the state of the art various processes for filling through-holes are described.
In the simplest case the holes are filled using a specially adjusted solder resist. They have the advantage to offer that in the case of high integration density no impairment is caused in the resolution by the via filler which necessarily protrudes like a rivet head. However, what is disadvantageous is the danger of solvent inclusions which can abruptly evaporate in subsequent process steps, such as tinning, and, thus, tear open the cover.
However, this process is not suitable for closing through-holes in inner layers. Here, the inner layers have to be completely closed in order to avoid inclusions.
For this process plugging is widely used because by means of this process it is possible by means of copper-plating the filled through-holes to create an inner layer which can be structured without any limitations.
As filler material various dielectrics such as resin-coated copper foils (RCC) or photo-dielectric liquid or dry films are used.
EP 0 645 950 B1 describes a process for producing multi-layered circuit substrates. As filler material for through-holes thermosetting resins are used chosen from the group consisting of phenolic resin and epoxy resin. Furthermore, as a conductive substance at least one metal powder chosen from the group consisting of silver, nickel, copper and an alloy thereof is added to the resin.
As a rule, the plugging is done after the printed circuit board has been drilled and the drill holes finally metallized, however, before the structuring. After the vias have been filled and the plugging paste has been cured, the latter is mechanically leveled since due to the filling process it exhibits a slight rivet head. Often, a metallization of the paste with copper is subsequently carried out so that a continuous copper layer is created as final layer. To put it simply, the following steps are required:
    • drilling
    • metallizing the sleeve
    • plugging
    • brushing, grinding
    • metallizing the plugging paste
    • applying the next build-up layer.
EP 1 194 023 A1 describes the manufacturing of HDI printed circuit boards by filling through-holes with conductive pastes, wherein the curing of the paste can occur at the same time as the molding of the basic material so that an electric contact of interior layers results.
However, the processes involve much outlay and cause a great deal of the process costs in the manufacture of HDI printed circuit boards. Furthermore, for each layout on the printed circuit board a different printing mask has to be used. Therefore, the process cannot be universally used.
In the case of highly different drill hole diameters on the printed circuit board the printing process is difficult.
Therefore, it is the object of the present invention to develop a process which avoids the disadvantages mentioned and provides a simple process for reliably filling the through-holes of a workpiece with nearly no inclusions. The process can be used in particular for filling the through-holes in printed-circuit boards with copper.
A further object of the invention is to achieve a high performance in the electrolytic metallization. In the present case, this means that, on the one hand, the current density during the electrolytic metallization of a printed circuit board has to be as high as possible in order to achieve a short working time and, on the other hand, that the amount of metal deposited on the surface of a printed circuit board is to be as small as possible.
The object is achieved by using the inventive process for filling through-holes of a workpiece with metals comprising the following process steps:
    • (i) Bringing in contact the workpiece containing through-holes with a metal-deposition electrolyte and applying a voltage between the workpiece and at least one anode so that a current flow is supplied to the workpiece, wherein the current flow is chosen such that in accordance with FIG. 1 a preferred deposition occurs in the center of the through-holes and, consequently, the through-holes completely or almost completely grow together;
    • (ii) Further bringing in contact the workpiece with a metal-deposition electrolyte and applying a voltage between the workpiece and at least one anode so that a current flow is supplied to the workpiece, wherein the through-holes obtained in step (i) which are completely or almost completely divided into to halves are filled by the metal up to the desired degree in accordance with FIG. 2.
By using the inventive two-step process it becomes possible for the first time to fill a through-hole with a pure metal layer, in contrast to the state-of-the-art processes for filling which use pastes—mostly conductive—since up to now it has been assumed that the production of a compact metal layer is not possible with the required durability and the desired properties.
In the conventional metallization of holes, for example in printed circuit boards, at first an almost identical scattering can be observed at the ends of the holes as well as in their center. During the metal-deposition the aspects ratio changes and the scattering decreases in the drill hole. This leads to increased metal-deposition at the ends of the drill holes which grow together before the interior is fillingly metallized. Thus, undesired inclusions are left in the holes, in particular remainders of the metallization bath.
The present invention is based on the idea to create in the first step of a special deposition technique two holes from the through-hole by completely or almost completely filling the hole center, which two holes are each closed at one end close to the hole center (cf. FIG. 1). The shape of the deposit in the area of the through-hole center can be V-shaped, as is shown in FIG. 1a, or it can be in the shape of a rounded narrow part (cf. FIG. 1b). This shape of the deposit can be achieved by increased scattering in the area of the through-hole center so that here an increased deposition of metal compared to the ends of the through-hole can be observed.
In printed circuit board production, a preferred field of application of the present invention, these holes are also referred to as blind holes or blind vias. In a second metallization step the thus created blind vias are then filled with metal (cf. FIG. 2).
Processes for filling blind vias are actually known and described in the state of the art.
EP 1 264 918 A1 describes an electrolytic copper deposition process which is particularly suitable for filing micro blind vias. Here, the use of inert anodes in a dummy plating phase helps to maintain and improve the fillability of the electrolyte.
According to EP 1 219 729 A1 chemical substances such as formaldehyde but also oxidizing agents are used in order to lengthen the period of stability of the metallization bath, which is particularly suitable for filling micro blind vias. As additives sulfur-containing substances with sulfonic acid groups as well as thiol-reactive compounds are used.
DE 103 25 101 describes a process for filling micro blind vias characterized by the following steps:
  • (i) Using a bath electrolyte for galvanic plating with metallic coatings comprising metals salts, acids and organic additives, wherein the bath contains an inorganic matrix comprising 15-60 g/l copper, 40-300 g/l sulfuric acid and 20-150 mg/l chloride and the organic additives comprise brightening agents, wetting agents and further additives chosen from polyamides, polyamines, lactam alkoxylates, thiourea, oligomeric and polymeric phenazonium derivatives and amino-triphenylmethane dyes,
  • (ii) operating the bath with a direct current at a density of 0.5-2.5 A/dm2, or current pulses at an effective current density of 0.5-10 A/dm2,
  • (iii) withdrawing part of the electrolyte from the galvanic bath,
  • (iv) adding an oxidizing agent to the part which has been withdrawn,
  • (v) optionally irradiating the withdrawn electrolyte with UV light and
  • (vi) recycling the withdrawn part to the galvanic bath and supplementing the organic additives destroyed by the oxidation treatment.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the process serves for filing the through-holes in printed circuit boards with a maximum height of 3.5 mm, a preferred height of 0.025-1 mm and a particularly preferred height of 0.05-0.5 mm as well as a diameter of 1000 μm at most, preferably 30-300 μm and most preferably 60-150 μm.
In the inventive process for filling through-holes of a workpiece with metals, in principle, every electrolyte suitable for galvanic metal-deposition can be used, such as electrolytes for depositing gold, tin, nickel or alloys thereof. The preferred metal is copper.
It has been shown that for copper-deposition electrolytes having the composition described in the following provide the best results:
Copper can be given into the electrolyte as copper sulfate pentahydrate (CuSO4×5H2O) or as copper sulfate solution. The working range is between 15-75 g/l copper.
Sulfuric acid (H2SO4) is added as 50-96% solution. The working range is between 20-400 g/l, preferably 50-300 g/l.
Chloride is added as sodium chloride (NaCl) or as hydrochloric acid solution (HCl). Here, the working range of chloride is between 20-200 mg/l, preferably 30-60 mg/l.
Furthermore, the electrolyte preferably comprises brightening agents, leveling agents and wetting agents as organic additives.
Usually, wetting agents are oxygen-containing, high-molecular compounds in concentrations of 0.005-20 g/l, preferably 0.01-5 g/l. Examples are given in Table 1:
TABLE 1
Wetting agent
 
  Carboxymethylcellulose
  Nonylphenolpolyglycolether
  Octandiol-bis-(polyalkylene glycol ether)
  Octanol polyalkylene glycol ether
  Oleic acid polyglycol ester
  Polyethylene glycolpolypropylene glycol copolymerisate
  Polyethylene glycol
  Polyethylene glycol dimethylether
  Polypropylene glycol
  Polyvinylalcohol
  β-naphthyl polyglycolether
  Stearic acid polyglycol ester
  Stearic acid alcohol polyglykolether
 

In general, as brightening agents sulfur-containing substances are used which are listed in Table 2:
TABLE 2
Sulfur compounds
 
3-(Benzothiazolyl-2-thio)-propyl sulfonic acid, sodium salt
3-Mercaptopropane-1-sulfonic acid, sodium salt
Ethylene dithiodipropyl sulfonic acid, sodium salt
Bis-(p-sulfophenyl)-disulfide, disodium salt
Bis-(ω-sulfobutyl)-disulfide, disodium salt
Bis-(ω-sulfohydroxypropyl)-disulfide, disodium salt
Bis-(ω-sulfopropyl)-disulfide, disodium salt
Bis-(ω-sulfopropyl)-sulfide, disodium salt
Methyl-(ω-sulfopropyl)-disulfide, disodium salt
Methyl-(ω-sulfopropyl)-trisulfide, disodium salt
O-ethyldithio-carbonic acid-S-(ω-sulfopropyl)-ester, potassium salt
Thioglycolic acid
Thiophosphoric acid-O-ethyl-bis-(ω-sulfopropyl)-ester, disodium salt
Thiophosphoric acid-(ω-sulfopropyl)-ester, trisodium salt

As leveling agents polymeric nitrogen compounds (e.g. polyamines or polyamides) or nitrogen-containing sulfur compounds, such as thiourea derivates or lactam alkoxylate, as described in DE 38 36 521 C2 can be used. The concentrations of the substances used are in a range from 0.1-100 ppm.
Furthermore, also polymeric phenazonium derivatives, which are described in the patent DE 41 26 502 C1, can be used. Further substances which are used for filling blind vias are coloring agents on the basis of an aminotriphenyl-methane structure such as malachite, rosalinine or crystal violet.
As anodes for example inert anodes without and with redox system (i.e. with Fe2+/3+ system, for example) can be used. When using an iron redox system the concentration of iron(II) ions is 1-15 g/l in general, preferably 8-12 g/l, and the concentration of iron(III) ions is 1-15 g/l in general and preferably 8-12 g/l.
For acidic copper, DC and AC electrolytes also soluble anodes can be used.
During the metallization with copper the metal is deposited not only in the through-holes but also on the surface of the substrate. If desired, the copper layer on the surface can be removed again using the etching processes known in printed circuit board production. To this end, for example solutions containing iron(III) chloride are suitable.
Furthermore, it has been observed that the filling with metals achieves particularly good results in horizontal processes using a special type of metallization by means of a pulse reverse current. This special technique is characterized by a 180° phase shift between the two pulse forms which are generated by two separate pulse rectifiers. By means of the two rectifiers the two sides of a printed circuit board can be individually metallized. A further characteristic consists in the use of a periodically repeating pulse pause for both rectifiers which is chosen such that at the same time the reverse current pulse acts on the other side, cf. FIG. 3.
Reverse pulse plating was developed for the electrolytic deposition of copper in particular on printed circuit boards with a high aspect ratio and is described in DE 42 25 961 C2 and DE 27 39 427 A1, for example. By using high current densities an improved surface distribution and scattering in the through-holes is achieved.
In the inventive process the following parameters are preferably adjusted:
The ratio of the duration of the at least one forward current pulse to the duration of the at least one reverse current pulse is adjusted to at least 5, preferably to at least 15 and more preferably to at least 18. This ratio can be adjusted to 75 at most and preferably to 50 at most. It is particularly preferred to adjust this ratio to about 20.
The duration of the at least one forward current pulse can be adjusted to preferably at least 5 ms to 250 ms.
The duration of the at least one reverse current pulse is preferably adjusted to 20 ms at most and most preferably to 1-10 ms.
The peak current density of the at least one forward current pulse at the work-piece is preferably adjusted to a value of 15 A/dm2 at most. Particularly preferable is a peak current density of the at least one forward current pulse at the workpiece of about 1.5-8 A/dm2 in horizontal processes. In vertical processes the most preferred peak current density of the at least one forward current pulse at the workpiece is 2 A/dm2 at most.
The peak current density of the at least one reverse current pulse at the workpiece will preferably be adjusted to a value of 60 A/dm2 at most. Particularly preferred is a peak current density of the at least one reverse current pulse at the workpiece of about 30-50 A/dm2 in horizontal processes. In vertical processes the most preferred peak current density of the at least one reverse current pulse at the workpiece is 3-10 A/dm2 at most.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the process comprises the following steps:
    • a. a first voltage is applied between a first side of the workpiece and at least a first anode so that a first pulse reverse current is supplied to the first side of the workpiece, wherein in every cycle of this first pulse reverse current at least a first forward current pulse and at least a first reverse current pulse flow.
    • b. a second voltage is applied between a second side of the workpiece and at least a second anode so that a second pulse reverse current is supplied to the second side of the workpiece, wherein in every cycle of this second pulse reverse current at least a second forward current pulse and at least a second reverse current pulse flow.
As regards the latter embodiment the at least one first forward current pulse and the at least one first reverse current pulse, respectively, can be offset relative to the at least one second forward current pulse and to the at least one second reverse current pulse, respectively. In a further preferred embodiment of the present invention this offset between the first and second current pulses amounts to about 180°.
In order to further improve the scattering the current flow in every cycle can comprise two forward current pulses, wherein between the two forward current pulses and a reverse current pulse a zero current interruption is provided.
In the further progress of the metallization process at least one parameter of the pulse reverse current can be varied, wherein this parameter is chosen from a group comprising the ratio of the duration of the forward current pulse to the duration of the reverse current pulse and the ratio of the peak current density of the forward current pulse to the peak current density of the reverse current pulse. It has been proven to be particularly advantageous to increase the ratio of the peak current density of the forward current pulse to the peak current density of the reverse current pulse when metallizing the workpiece and/or to decrease the ratio of the duration of the forward current pulse to the duration of the reverse current pulse.
The invention is further explained by means of the following examples:
Horizontal Metallization Process
The Inpulse 2 modules of Atotech Deutschland GmbH used for horizontal treatment of printed circuit boards (in which boards for treatment are transported horizontally and in a horizontal transportation plane) have a gap of 15 mm between the nozzle holder and the cathode (workpiece) and a gap of 8 mm between anode and cathode.
For the metallization a printed circuit board of FR4 material is used having the dimensions 18′×24″=457 mm×610 mm and a through-hole diameter of 150 μm and a height of 200 μm, unless stated otherwise.
Prior to metallization the surface of the printed circuit board is first of all cleansed for 45 seconds with the cleaner Cuprapro CF of Atotech Deutschland GmbH and then treated for 45 seconds with 5% sulfuric acid.
The electrolytes used have the following composition. The concentration of the copper ions and the sulfuric acid is individually given in the tests. In all cases, the metallization is carried out at a temperature of 40° C.
    • copper sulfate
    • sulfuric acid
    • chloride ions: 50 mg/l
    • iron(II): 10 g/l
    • iron(III): 2 g/l
    • leveling agent Inpulse H6: 4 ml/l; brightening agent Inpulse H6: 7 ml/l
    • leveling agent Inpulse HF: 4 ml/l; brightening agent Inpulse HF: 7 ml/l
    • Inpulse leveling agent und brightening agent are products of Atotech Deutschland GmbH.
EXAMPLE 1
According to the above-described general execution rule for horizontal processes the printed circuit board is at first treated for 30 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse H6 process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 1a. A copper deposition in the through-holes as is shown in FIG. 1a is obtained.
Then, the printed circuit board is treated for a further 30 minutes in a second bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse HF process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 1b. A copper deposition in the through-holes as is shown in FIG. 2 is obtained.
Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 1
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
1a 6/40 108/6 6 180 40 200
1b 6/40  72/4 4 180 60 150

EXAMPLE 2
According to the above-described general execution rule for horizontal processes the printed circuit board is at first treated for 30 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse H6 process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 2a.
Then, the printed circuit board is treated for a further 30 minutes in a second bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse HF process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 2b.
Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 2
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
2a 6/40 216/12 12 180 40 200
2b 6/40 72/4 4 180 60 150

EXAMPLE 3
According to the above-described general execution rule for horizontal processes the printed circuit board is treated for 60 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse HF process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 3.
Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 3
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
3 6/40 72/4 4 180 60 150

EXAMPLE 4
According to the above-described general execution rule for horizontal processes a printed circuit board having a through-hole diameter of 200 μm and a height of 300 μm is at first treated for 30 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse H6 process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 4a.
Then, the printed circuit board is treated for a further 30 minutes in a second bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inpulse HF process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 4b.
Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 4
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
4a 6/40 108/6 6 180 40 200
4b 6/40  72/4 4 180 60 150

In all tests a pulse pause and a 180° phase shift at the pulse parameter were adjusted. This means that the reverse pulse was applied to the anodes at one side of the test board and that, at the same time, the pulse pause was applied to the anodes of the other side. The schematic representation of the pulse form in FIG. 3 (current as function of the time) shows the adjustment with a phase shift between the upper and the lower anodes (upper curve: current at the upper side of the cathode, bottom curve: current at the bottom side of the cathode).
Vertical Metallization Processes
For the vertical metallization a printed circuit board made from FR4 material is used having the dimensions 18″×24″=457 mm×610 mm and a through-hole diameter of 150 μm and a height of 200 μm.
Before metallization the surface of the printed circuit board is at first cleansed for 3 minutes with an acid cleaner S of Atotech Deutschland GmbH and then treated for 60 seconds with 5% sulphuric acid.
The electrolytes used have the following composition. The concentration of copper ions and sulfuric acid is individually given in the tests. In all cases, the metallization is carried out at a temperature of 23° C.
    • copper sulfate
    • sulfuric acid
    • chloride ions: 60 mg/l in the first step, 35 mg/l in the second.
    • leveling agent Cuprapulse XP7: 20 ml/l; brightening agent Cuprapulse S3: 1 ml/l
    • leveling agent Inplate DI: 15 ml/l; brightening agent Inplate DI: 0.5 ml/l Cuprapulse and Inplate leveling agent and brightening agent are products of Atotech Deutschland GmbH.
    • A redox system is only used in the second step with the following composition:
    • iron(II): 5 g/l
    • iron(III): 1 g/l
EXAMPLE 5
According to the above-described general execution rule for vertical processes the printed circuit board is at first treated for 90 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Cuprapulse XP7 process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 5a. Then, in a second step, the printed circuit board is treated for a further 85 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inplate DI process and a direct current with the parameters according to Table 5b. Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 5
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
5a 2/8 20/1 0 17 260
5b 1, 5 DC DC 40 140

EXAMPLE 6
According to the above-described general execution rule for vertical processes the printed circuit board is at first treated for 90 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Cuprapulse XP7 process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 6a. Then, in a second step, the printed circuit board is treated for a further 85 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inplate DI process and a direct current with the parameters according to Table 6b. Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 6
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
6a 2/8 40/2 0 17 260
6b 1, 5 DC DC 40 140

EXAMPLE 7
According to the above-described general execution rule for vertical processes the printed circuit board is at first treated for 90 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Cuprapulse XP7 process and a pulse reverse current process with the parameters according to Table 7a. Then, in a second step, the printed circuit board is treated for a further 85 minutes in a bath for electrolytic metallization with copper with the Inplate DI process and a direct current with the parameters according to Table 7b. Then, the filling of the through-holes is complete. No inclusions are observed.
TABLE 7
pulse parameters in the metallization with copper
    pulse parameter in ms       sulfuric
  Iforward/Ireverse forward/reverse pulse phase copper acid
test in A/dm2 pulse pause in ms shift in ° g/l g/l
7a 1, 5/6 20/1 0 17 260
7b 1, 5 DC DC 40 140



1. Galvanic process for filling through-holes of a workpiece with metals comprising the following steps:
(i) bringing in contact the workpiece containing through-holes with a first metal deposition electrolyte and applying a voltage between the workpiece and at least one anode so that a current flow is supplied to the workpiece, wherein the current flow is chosen such that a deposition occurs in the center of the through-holes and, consequently, the through-holes grow together, until the through-holes are divided into two halves forming two holes which are each closed at one end close to the through-hole center, one hole on each side of the workpiece;
(ii) further bringing in contact the workpiece with a second metal-deposition electrolyte and applying a voltage between the workpiece and at least one anode so that a current flow is supplied to the workpiece, wherein the through-holes obtained in step (i) which are divided into two halves are filled by the metal,
wherein the current flow in accordance with step (i) is a pulse reverse current and in every cycle of the current at least one forward current pulse and at least one reverse current pulse occurs and that the current flow in accordance with step (ii) is either a pulse reverse current, a direct current or an alternating current, and
wherein, in the pulse reverse current of step (i) and in the pulse reverse current of step (ii) when present, the ratio of the duration of the at least one forward current pulse to the duration of the at least one reverse current pulse is adjusted to 5-75,
wherein the electrolyte comprises a wetting agent, and
wherein the through-holes have a diameter of 30 μm-300 μm and a maximum height of 0.025-1 mm.
2. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the first metal deposition electrolyte and the second metal deposition electrolyte are different electrolytes.
3. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the first metal deposition electrolyte and the second metal deposition electrolyte are the same electrolyte.
4. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the duration of the at least one forward current pulse is adjusted to 5-250 ms.
5. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the duration of the at least one reverse current pulse is adjusted to 20 ms at most.
6. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the peak current density of the at least one forward current pulse at the workpiece is adjusted to 15 A/dm2 at most in horizontal processes and to 2 A/dm2 in vertical processes.
7. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the peak current density of the at least one reverse current pulse at the workpiece is adjusted to 60 A/dm2 at most in horizontal processes and to 3-10 A/dm2 in vertical processes.
8. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that a first voltage is applied between a first side of the workpiece and at least a first anode so that a first pulse reverse current is supplied to the first side of the workpiece, wherein in every cycle of this first pulse reverse current at least a first forward current pulse and at least a first reverse current pulse flow, a second voltage is applied between a second side of the workpiece and at least a second anode so that a second pulse reverse current is supplied to the second side of the workpiece, wherein in every cycle of this second pulse reverse current at least a second forward current pulse and at least a second reverse current pulse flow.
9. Process according to claim 8, characterized in that the first current pulses are offset relative to the second current pulses by 180°.
10. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that an acid copper electrolyte is used as each of the first electrolyte and the second electrolyte.
11. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that each of the first electrolyte and the second electrolyte comprises an inorganic matrix comprising 15-75 g/l copper, 20-400 g/l sulphuric acid, and 20 -200 mg/l chloride.
12. Process according to claim 11, characterized in that each of the first electrolyte and the second electrolyte also comprises an organic additive selected from brightening agents and leveling agents.
13. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that each of the first electrolyte and the second electrolyte is operated with inert anodes with a redox system.
14. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that as each of the first electrolyte and the second electrolyte an acid copper electrolyte and as anodes soluble anodes are used.
15. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the through-holes have a maximum height of 0.05-0.5 mm.
16. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the through-holes have a diameter of 60 μm-150 μm.
17. Process according to claim 1, characterized in that the workpiece is board-shaped and has through-holes.
18. Process according claim 1, characterized in that the workpiece is a printed circuit board or any other board-shaped electric circuit carrier.
19. Process according to claim 1, wherein each of the first electrolyte and the second electrolyte comprises an inorganic matrix comprising 15-75 g/l copper, 20-400 g/l sulphuric acid, and 20-200 mg/l chloride, wherein the electrolyte comprises organic additives selected from brightening agents and leveling agents, and wherein each electrolyte is operated with inert anodes with a redox system.
20. Process according to claim 1, wherein the through-holes have a diameter of 60 μm-150 μm and a maximum height of 0.05-0.5 mm, and wherein the workpiece is a printed circuit board or any other board-shaped electric circuit carrier.
21. Process according to claim 1, wherein in (ii) the through-holes filled by the metal have no inclusions.
22. Process according to claim 8, wherein in (ii) the through-holes filled by the metal have no inclusions.

 

 

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