Achieving a high-quality and durable electroplated nickel sulfamatecoating with the desired thickness and layer uniformity is often difficult without using an additional EBL resist. This blog post discusses how you can usenegative tone EBL resist to improve your electroplating process.
A little background, Nickel sulfamate electroplatingis a great alternative to chrome plating. It’s very high-end and can be used for production parts and prototypes, but the process has always had one major downside: you need two baths – an alkaline nickel bath followed by an acid nickel sulfamate rinse. This means that you need to take part out of the alkaline nickel bath, rinse it off with water (and baking soda), and then put it into a separate bath for electroplating. This means that your line is always shut down during this process.
The nickel sulfamate electroplating process is primarily used in the production of stainless steel parts. However, this solution can be problematic when it comes to pattern formation. Nickel sulfamate is a very fast solution, making it difficult to control the development of patterns during electroplating processes. As such, various techniques are used to achieve patterned surfaces with this type of nickel plating bath.
To improve the uniformity of patterned surfaces, negative tone EBL resist is often used. Negative tone EBL resist is a rapid developer, which means that it will not remain on the surface of the substrate. This form of plating resists can be combined withnickel sulfamateto speed up development times and produce smoother surfaces.
In addition, this type of resistance can be used with various nickel salts. To use negative tone EBL resists in combination with nickel sulfamate electroplating baths, you will need a plating tank capable of heating the bath to around 50°C and water-resistant pumps for removing waste chemicals from the system. The substrate must be thoroughly cleaned before it is put into the nickel sulfamate electroplating bath.
The negative tone EBL resist will typically work at room temperature, but some systems can operate above this optimum point. However, maintaining a certain minimum plating solution temperature while using resistance may allow better control of development times and provide smoother surfaces.
The nickel sulfamate electroplating bath should be agitated during the plating process, as this will ensure that parts are evenly coated. It is also important to avoid direct exposure of water-sensitive metals or alloys into the solution since they may cause pitting and corrosion on part surfaces.
There are other benefits associated with the use of negative tone EBL resist in nickel sulfamate electroplatingbaths. For example, this type of plating resists will allow faster and more efficient development times than traditional direct-acting developers such as hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid.
Once the desired thickness is achieved on non patterned surfaces, the parts should be rinsed and then left to dry. This solution can be used in many plating processes, but it is especially useful for nickel sulfamate electroplating. If we can ensure the even distribution of metal ions and sulfamatecompounds, the deposit will be as smooth as possible. This helps avoid the problems that can occur when a non-uniform thickness is achieved.
For this reason, it is very important to ensure that the metal ions are not present in excess. This will cause some areas of the deposit to be too thick while others are too thin. Similarly, if there isn’t enough sulfamate compound available for reaction with all-metal ion atoms, some surface parts will be left unplated. This will result in a thin, non-uniform deposit that may not be acceptable. In closing, it is important to be careful when using this solution fornickel sulfamate electroplating. It can produce very high-quality deposits if the right conditions are applied but, if not, then poor results will occur. It is especially important to ensure that the sulfamate compound and metal ion concentrations are very close to ideal levels. It should be possible to create a deposit with a smooth surface finish with a bit of testing.