Surface Treatment

Atmospheric Plasma Systems

Environmental-Friendly Surface Cleaning

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (AP Plasma) is a radically new technology providing surface cleaning and pre-treatment of substrates. AP Plasma utilizes a novel approach to generating plasma without the complexities, cost and potential for substrate damage normally associated with vacuum plasma or the handling, disposal and processing challenges associated with wet chemical cleaning. Plasma can be described simply as the 4th state of matter consisting of atoms, ions (charged species), radicals and electrons. Conceptually to create a plasma state, think of starting with a solid substance and continue to add energy and for each substance the state of matter moves from solid to liquid, then gas and finally with sufficient energy to a plasma state.

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma is a plasma discharge system that requires no vacuum systems or special process chambers. Using specially designed electrode and power source techniques, the plasma can be easily generated at 1 atmosphere (760 Torr). So, it could be the best solution for the company which requires continuous in-line plasma processing for mass production.

Polyimide contact angle improvement
Polyimide contact angle improvement

As we know, the aggregate state changes from solid to liquid, from liquid to gaseous as a result of energy input. If additional energy is fed to a gas, it is ionized and turns into the plasma state as an extended aggregate state. The supplied energy is transferred to the material surface upon contact and is then available for the subsequent reactions.

Fundamentals - Plasma Process: Aggredate State
Fundamentals - Plasma Process: Aggredate State

Cleaning – Activating – Coating

Firmly implementing this energetic reaction results in countless advantages:

  • Many times increased wettability through activation of the surfaces
  • Improvement of the adhesive properties with regard to the applied substances and materials
  • Improvement of the durability and reliability of the bonds
  • Modification of surface properties
  • Dust removal, micro-cleaning and neutralization

Atmospheric Pressure Plasma produces in-line surface treatment technology that can be used for cleaning or pre-cleaning any metal or non-metal like PCB, semi-conductors, glass, polymers etc.

One of the on-going challenges with ever shrinking feature sizes is to provide an effective yet economical cleaning solution that yields a properly treated surface that result in consistent and reliable adhesion and coating properties. There are numerous requirements for this in electronics and nanotechnology manufacturing. A new and innovative technology offers a paradigm shift from conventional cleaning methods.

Some of the applications include: lead frame pre-treatment prior to epoxy or eutectic die attach; bond pad pre-treatment to improve wire bond adhesion; fine pitch PC board cleaning prior to component assembly; flux printing and flip chip soldering (FCBGA, FPBGA); polyimide films and plastic surface treatments prior to screen printing or coating; glass treatment prior to advanced coatings; silicon wafer cleaning prior to backside gold; and carbon contamination removal in other nanotechnology applications.

Plasma cleaning is a universally applied environmentally benign process used in numerous manufacturing processes for removal of sub-micron contamination. Dry processing is advantageous in a wide variety of manufacturing operations for removal of many types of contamination including organic residues, polymer coatings or build-ups, waxes, metals and metal oxides, fluorine and other halogens. The overall manufacturing device performance is improved by removing unwanted contaminants or any material that may impact bonding and/or electrical performance.