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topic 8999

Acid Copper Plating brightener / additives



Current question and answers:

December 9, 2020

Q. Hi Everyone,
We have a handful of acid copper plating tanks (copper sulfate, sulfuric acid, chloride ions), and the leveling solution we've been buying for the last 10 years is no longer in production. I always prefer to make my own materials whenever possible, and I'd like to start preparing my own plating additives.

I've been reading a number of studies on thiourea and copper deposits in acid copper plating at quantities of about 0.017 g/L, which I will start testing in the coming weeks. An old electroforming friend of mine also suggested polyethylene glycol, which I've been reading up on as well. Does anyone have an ballpark figures on how much PEG to use? Or any other advice or suggestions?

All the best,
Gaelen

Gaelen Armstrong
- Fairfield, Iowa


December 9, 2020

A. Howdy Gaelen,

PEG is a chain so typically there's an molecular weight of the chemistry you buy. This weight is going to play a role in how much you would use. On top of the molecular weight of the PEG the ratio of your chloride to the volume of PEG is going to be important. I can't give you an exact number as I don't know what type of deposit your shooting for, but some general guidelines is smaller MW compounds need higher g/L large MW compounds typically need less.

Depending on other additives will change how much you will need Patent US4430173A uses 10-100g/L with 9k mw

Studies on Anisotropic Electrodeposition of Copper
with Organic Additives uses 300 g/L with a 3000 mw

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point. There plenty of online studies which use a range of different chemicals for carriers, brighteners, and levelers.

Good luck!

William Hogan
- Sidney, New York USA


December 23, 2020

thumbs up sign Hi William,

Thank you very much for your reply. The 9th was my birthday (the grand ol' 36th) and you made my day with what you wrote back : ) It's a great starting point, and just what I was looking for.

We're electroforming over some highly textured and complicated molds a little 36"-41" across about with 1" variations of depth ... I'll keep reading patents and materials about thiourea and PEG - thanks for pointing me in a good direction.

Cheers,
Gaelen

Gaelen Armstrong [returning]
- Fairfield, Iowa




Previous closely related Q&A's starting in:

2002

RFQ: WE ARE ONE OF LEADING ELECTROPLATING CHEMICALS MANUFACTURER COMPANY IN PAKISTAN. WE WANT TO IMPORT ADDITIVES OF ACID COPPER ELECTROPLATING CHEMICALS AND THE FORMULATION AND FUNCTIONING OF GOLD ELECTROPLATING PLANT.

UMER FAROOQ
- LAHORE, PAKISTAN
outdated



2001

Q. Hi,

I need to know what kind of organic additives (brightener) I should add to a copper electroplating bath, Using CuSO4.5H2O, HCl and Sulphuric Acid. Well it should use the Lea Ronal copper Gleam PCM+ though, but since I live in small city where is impossible to get that additive.

So my question: Is it possible to replace that additive using other chemical?

Toxadhie Riza
- Malang, Jatim, Indonesia


2001

affil. link
"Electrodeposition: The Materials Science of Coatings and Substrates"
by Jack Dini
from Abe Books
or
info on Amazon
or
see our Review

A. Hello, Toxadhie.

According to Jack Dini in "Electrodeposition: The Material Science of Coatings and Substrates" =>
common brighteners for acid copper in the old days included "glue, dextrose, phenolsulfonic acid, molasses and thiorea".

Dini goes on to re-quote Reid from 'An HPLC Study of Acid Coper Brightener Properties' as follows: "Carriers are typically polyalkylene glycol type polymers with a molecular weight around 2000, levelers are typically alkane surfactants containing sulfonic acid and amine or amide functionalities, and brighteners are typically propane sulfonic acids which are derivatized with surface active groups containing pendant sulfur atoms".

The vendor obviously expended years of expensive research effort to get from the above-described general idea to their specific formulation, and if you don't or can't license their process, you are limited to working with the generic materials and settling for a less satisfactory result, or expending significant expense yourself in duplicating the R&D efforts of the process supplier.

You will presumably not have access to HPLC analysis and expert interpretation of the results, so plan on becoming a Hull Cell Master :-)
Best of luck, cousin Toxadhie.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


2002

Q. Dear Ted,

My boss asked me to do some research into this area. Would you please give me a list of reference articles regarding the organic additives used in acid copper plating, their functions and major mechanisms of enhancing plating quality?

Many thanks,

Haifeng Zhang
- Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA


2002

A. Hi, Haifeng. You can try scholar.google.com, but I think the best thing is to contact Metal Finishing Information Services in Birmingham^Warrington, England about getting a copy of their MFIS CD-ROM if you can get access to the articles it abstracts, or contract them to do the search and copy the articles. It isn't legal for me to use my copy of the CD-ROM to do a lit search for you, but one promising article looks to be: "Acid Copper Sulphate Plating I. Simple Addition Agent Control" by Mohler J B; Metal Finishing magazine, June 1987, pp 121-122. Good luck!

Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha


December 21, 2015

A. Hi Ted,

MFIS appear to have moved to Warrington (England). Here is a link to their website:
www.finishingpublications.com

Jon

Jon Light
- Saltum Denmark

Readers --

• please see also Thread 11172, "Preparing acid copper brightener"

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