STTR Phase I: Thermally-Assisted Electro-Etching of Electronics Packages

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0711332
Agency Tracking Number: 0711332
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-598
Small Business Information
315 HULS, 6745 HOLLISTER AVENUE, Clayton, OH, 45315
DUNS: 793274747
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Heather McCrabb
 (937) 836-7749
Business Contact
 E Jennings Taylor
Title: PhD
Phone: (937) 836-7749
Research Institution
 Columbia University
 Alan J West
 2960 Broadway
New York, NY, 10027 6902
 (212) 854-4452
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project addresses an enabling technology for fabrication of printed circuit boards and electronic packages. The demand for increased integrated circuit density, performance and reliability while reducing size, weight and cost of electronic modules requires interconnects and packaging to employ lines and spaces that are less than 75 micron in width. Through-mask chemical etching of interconnects isotropically attacks copper under the mask, limiting feature sizes to larger than 75 micron. The proposed innovation, Thermally-Assisted Electro-Etching, combines Faradayic electrochemical etching to generate an anisotropic current distribution through the mask, with a pulsed thermal source to enhance anisotropic etching by selective heating of the exposed copper. Unlike chemical etching, this technology will enable through-mask etching of features 25 - 30 micron in width. The Phase I project will demonstrate this technology through design and build of an apparatus that promotes controlled etching, electrolyte selection, optimization of electrochemical and thermal process parameters, and an economic evaluation of the technology. The anticipated result is a robust, anisotropic, cost-effective through-mask etching process for electronic packaging features below 75 micron. The project team, Faraday, Columbia University and Lockheed-Martin, will set the stage for technology validation and commercialization.The research project, if successful, will result in higher density, lower cost interconnect applications. The proposed technological innovation is benign and will not adversely impact the environment nor worker safety. Workforce development with Columbia undergraduate and graduate students is anticipated and Faraday routinely provides opportunities for local undergraduate students and high school teachers in conjunction with NSF's REU and RET programs, respectively.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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