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Acid-Copper Electroplating Module Model 1000 Manual - Operation
Organic Additives

Organic Additives
In a well controlled plating bath, the carrier supports the formation of a black skin on the anode material which serves to regulate the diffusion of copper ions into the electrolyte. The material is also attracted to, but not co-deposited on the cathode (work piece) forming a layer (film layer) in close proximity to the surface that controls the rate of copper grain growth.

The brightener works within the film layer to control copper deposition on a microscopic level. It tends to be attracted to points of high electro-potential, temporarily packing the area and forcing copper to deposit elsewhere. As soon as the deposit levels, the local point of high potential disappears and the brightener drifts away. (i.e. brighteners inhibit the normal tendency of the plating bath to preferentially plate areas of high potential which would inevitably result in rough, dull plating) By continuously moving with the highest potential, brightener/levelers prevent the formation of large copper crystals, giving the highest possible packing density of small equiaxed crystals which resulting in smooth, glossy, high ductility copper deposition.

Mark Brelsford of QMS in Toronto, ON likens the action of the carrier to the function of a doorman at a theater who regulates the flow of people into a theater but doesn't really care where they go once inside. The brightener would then be the ushers who politely lead each person to a vacant seat until the theater is uniformly filled.

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