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"Molecular Modification of PCB Substrates for Fine Line Patterning" -- Werner Kuhr, Ph.D., Founder and VP-Research, ZettaCore, Inc., Englewood, CO

Presentation slides: "Molecular Modification of PCB Substrates for Fine Line Patterning" (2 MB PDF), and Technical Paper: "Molecular Modification of PCB Substrates: Demonstration of HAST Survivability of Fine-Line Patterned Structures" (400 kB PDF)

WEDNESDAY, September 9, 2009

  • 2151 Laurelwood Rd (Fwy 101 at Montague Expressway), Santa Clara, (408) 346-4620 -- click map at right.

        ZettaCore has developed a new Molecular Interface technology, where a molecular adhesion layer is created for smooth epoxy substrates to allow the electroless deposition and electroplating of copper onto unroughened epoxy surfaces. Molecules are attached to smooth PCB substrates via a thermally-induced reaction of the molecular species with the substrate surface, after which the high affinity of the molecule-modified surface for metal ions facilitates electroless plating of the copper, which is then used as a seed layer to electroplate larger quantities of copper utilizing conventional processes. This process allowed the fabrication of PCB substrates with fine line patterning of the metal layers (e.g., 20/20, 18/18, 14/14, 12/12 microns and 8/8 microns) using only a slight modification of standard lithographic processes using the semi-additive patterning process. Good stability to HAST and other accelerated stress tests were obtained on all of these structures, indicating that treatment with the molecular adhesion process significantly improved the ability to pattern copper lines at fine line spacing. Similar results were obtained using an analogous process for the lamination of epoxy prepreg onto smooth copper surfaces.

    Speaker Biography:
       Werner G. Kuhr is currently Founder and Vice President of Research, ZettaCore, Inc. which supplies molecular electronic solutions to the semiconductor and microelectronics market. Previously, he was a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, where his research was focused on the development of nano-scale techniques for the design and characterization of electrochemical devices. Professor Kuhr has published over 100 scientific papers, delivered over 100 invited lectures at conferences and universities across the world, and been issued twenty-eight U.S. and international patents. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from Stevens Institute of Technology (1980-82) and earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Indiana University (1986). He is currently serving on the board of advisors of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Riverside. He has been the recipient of a number of awards including a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation (1989); a Young Investigator Award from the Society of Electroanalytical Chemistry (1993) and the Jubilee Silver Medal from the Chromatographic Society, England (1994).

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