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Backside of wafers are dielectric but still become Electroless Nickel plated

December 16, 2011

Q. My wafers are getting backside plating which are not supposed to, I am doing electroless Nickel plating. Backside of the wafer is dielectric. Any insight on this issue will be greatly helpful. What are the reasons behind plating the backside of the wafer?

Satish Yeldandi
- Boise, Idaho, United States

First of two simultaneous responses -- December 21, 2011

EN will plate anything that is properly activated and plateable. You have to find a way to mask off the back side that is compatible with the plating process. Unfortunately, some masks are nearly impossible to get off COMPLETELY without numerous clean solvent dips.

Find someone in the industry that can point you in the right direction. I would start with tech services of the OEM if your EN vendor cannot help you. They want your business, so most, at least the good ones, will do a lot to help you.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

Second of two simultaneous responses -- December 21, 2011

Electroless indeed means the surface doesn't need to be conductive, only receptive or "active". It is not infrequent to see nickel deposits on plastic tank walls or glass beakers. You may need to mask those surfaces before processing,
G. Marrufo

Guillermo Marrufo
- Monterrey, Mexico

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