SMTA International Conference Proceedings


ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES TO CONVENTIONAL PTH METALLIZATION - A TIME FOR CHANGE?

Author: David H. Ormerod
Company: Enthone Inc., A Business of Cookson Electronics
Date Published: 10/4/2009   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: The last three decades have witnessed the development and maturity of many PWB fabrication processes. Despite new forms of multilayer, HDI and SBU constructions, using new dielectric materials, the core electroless copper PTH technology has remained the predominant choice, especially for multilayer technology. But changes are inevitable. The escalating global environmental pressures are now challenging many fundamentals, and no region is exempt. Following its ROHs initiative, Europe is now confronting the REACH challenge. China's global supply engine is facing severe water and effluent regulations, both threatening the PWB supply chain.

In simple terms, the inability of Fab shops to meet the rapidy tightening regulations will limit the expansion of plating facilities, the permitting of new facilities and will challenge the broader supply capacity. Despite this mounting pressure, the performance and reliability of the copper metallization system is even more more critical, especially for the newer electronic devices sweeping the industry. So is there a conflict in these demands? Are there alternative green choices which will not only meet the OEM and EMS supply needs, but which will provide better performance and enable higher capability for the industry? The paper looks at one alternative PTH approach, using a conductive polymer system, which has the proven ability to deliver these goals and economically justify the necessary cost of qualification.



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