Many factors contribute to uniform electrochemical processing in industrial applications. The electrochemical cell provides the foundation for the process and as such an effective geometry is critical to obtain desired properties and to maximize process efficiency. A non-traditional cell geometry has been engineered to provide a uniform boundary layer thickness to dampen uneven localized current distributions and promote consequent plating uniformity for full size printed circuit board panels. This tank has been extensively characterized for thickness distribution under direct current plating conditions and compared with commercial plating cell geometries that utilize both educator flow and/or air sparging agitation. Compared to the conventional cells, the variation of copper deposit thickness across the panel in the non-traditional is significantly less, and meets the requirement of the printed circuit board industry. Cell geometry, panel features and operating parameters have been modeled and show good agreement with experimental data. The results of this study suggest that through hole patterns on a printed circuit board increase the non-uniformity of the boundary layer thickness.
Garich, H., Shimpalee, S., Lilavivat, V., Snyder, S., & Taylor, E. J. (2016). Non-traditional cell geometry for improved copper plating uniformity. Journal of the Electrochemical Society, 163(8), E216–E222. https://doi.org/10.1149/2.0491608jes