Cupric Chloride Etch Rate Monitoring System

University of North Texas Background
This invention provides a highly sensitive characterization tool and methodology for the monitoring of acidic chloride copper etch baths that are used in advanced microelectronic IC packaging processes for next-generation semiconductor devices. Specifically, the thin-film UV-Vis calibration metrology and chloride sensor can be used to predict, with great precision, the copper Etch rate of a given etch bath.
Technology Overview
Subtractive copper etching is one of the central processes in the fabrication of printed circuit boards (PCBs). The fundamental copper etching process using cupric chloride involves a complex set of chemical equilibriums, which the current monitoring tools, as semi-chemical probes, have difficulty controlling precisely. The researchers believe that a complimentary tool, thin-film UV-Vi’s spectroscopy, can be utilized to bolster the effectiveness of the current monitoring parameters, as it can distinguish between specific chemical contributions to the equilibrium and to each parameter. Furthermore, the reserchers find that UV-Vis itself also has the ability to monitor and predict the etch rate of a given etch bath, and so can contribute overall to significant improvements in the control of the copper etching system.
Benefits
Chemically specific, as each species that originates in the solution or is generated in the etching process has a distinct signature. 
Used for microelectronic Cu etching, and has a quantitative calibration methodology.
Applications
 IC packaging and manufacturing companies (e.g. Intel) or other IC technology companies.

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