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topic 2899

Copper Whiskers during Copper Electroplating


We are seeing copper-Whisker formation during copper electroplating process. These whiskers initially grow very rtapidly may be during first half an hour. We add about 35 per million parts of chlorine in the copper plating bath. has any one experienced these copper whiskers in their plating operations? If so how do you get rid of them?

Rathindra Pal
- Silver Spring, Maryland


We see a treeing effect while acid copper plating. It's like the tin/lead "whiskering" phenomenon. We run a brightened bath and find that the brightener/carrier help cut down on the treeing. Also, about 50ppm chloride is recommended so your bath may need a little more. You're using phosphorized anodes, right? Does the whiskering occur more in the HCD areas? If so, you might want to check your anode placement and racking configuration.

Megan Pellenz
- Syracuse, New York

September 23, 2010

Has anyone seen a correlation to the surface topography? we see whisker formation on rigid panels that have RTF foil but don't see them on flex panels that use RA foil.

Mark Kinder
- Milpitas, California, USA

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