Developer for Photoresist to Achieve High Resolution
Product Lines for Photoresist Developers
Common Photoresist Developers
Photosensitive Dry film Developer
Photosensitive Liquid Resist Developer
Photosensitive Solder Mask Resist Developer (Dry and Liquid)
Common Uses for Developers
PCB Photoresist Developer
Photo Etching Photoresist Developer
Glass Resist Developer
Semiconductor Developer (SEMI)
Photoresist Developers Parameters
Speed range: 14 – 140 inches / minute
Max temperature: 90 °F
pH range 10.5 – 11
Important Pre-Developing Steps
Alkaline and Acid Clean (Chemcut Processes)
Cleaning the metal surface is extremely important when it comes to developing. A clean surface means no dirt to interfere with the exposure step and it helps with lamination adhesion.
Alkaline Clean is the first cleaning step and is used to remove all oils and organics from the surface.
Acid Clean is the second cleaning step and is used to remove any contaminants that remain on the surface. This chemistry will micro etch the surface which increases lamination adhesion.
Increase lamination adhesion for chemical milling companies, they should make their rinses after the acid clean slightly acidic. A slightly acidic rinse will create an acid surface that reacts with the lamination to help with adhesion.
Increase lamination adhesion for the PCB industry companies will micro etch the surface prior to lamination.
Lamination (Non-Chemcut Process)
Hot Roll Lamination, to increase resist adhesion and to avoid photo resist wrinkling you should pre-heat the board before applying the dry film photoresist. Especially if the metal is thick.
Liquid Resist is recommended to attain high resolution for developing and etching.
Thinner Photoresist typically gives tighter tolerances because the channel the chemistry needs to get in is shorter. A shorter channel allows the chemistry to flow in and out better.
Hold for 30 minutes after lamination to allow the resist to lock into the metal.
Exposure (Non-Chemcut Process)
As everything keeps getting smaller this has become one of the most important steps.
A speck of dirt is enough to cause an open circuit on fine lines. The slightest misalignment on artwork top to bottom has the potential to shift dimensions outside the tolerances.
This isn’t a Chemcut process, but we have been around long enough to gain knowledge on photoresist exposure. Below is a small list of topics we believe are important for the best exposure:
Yellow room is a must have
Collimated light for fine features
Features that help create near perfect alignment
Hold for 30 minutes before developing for better resolution
Developing is normally looked at as less critical than etching. This is true, BUT it doesn’t mean you can overlook the developing step.
Photoresist can be underdeveloped or overdeveloped.
Underdeveloped means all the unpolymerized resist was not completely removed. So, you did not fully expose the metal that you want to etch away.
This results in smaller holes or no breakthrough for chemical milling and shorts for circuits.
Overdeveloped means, the developing solution started to undercut the resist. This means the resist may lift while etching which means you are losing resolution and worse etch away metal you want to keep.
For chemical machining, you may end up outside your tolerances and for circuits, you may end up with open circuits.
Important Post Photoresist Developing Steps
Optional Step to Increase Lamination Adhesion
Bake is the most commonly used step to increase resist adhesion. The major downfall of this step is the time it takes to complete.
UV Bump is a much quicker step. However, it does not increase adhesion nearly as much as baking does.
Common Options For Photoresist Developers
Drip Pan – easy to clean up dips and spills because the pan catches all chemistry around the etcher
Chiller Cooling System
Inline Filtration – results in fewer clogged nozzles and fewer particles in solution
pH Controller – is a popular option for the Alkaline etching process and standard on developing and resist stripping
Ventilation Demister – aids in condensation and recovery of evaporated process chemistry vapor
The options do not stop there. Chemcut wet processing machines are modulated. That allows you to configure your machine in any order you want.
Please proceed to our products to learn more.
Why Choose Chemcut to Build Your Photoresist Developers?
Chemcut’s process engineers have over 100 years of combined experience in wet processing.
Whether you are developing for printed circuit boards, photo etching, wafers, or solar panels. Chemcut will find a way to make your developing process a flying success. We are willing to customize our developers to your every need.
Contact us today so we can discuss your photoresist developing project to determine the best way to optimize your future developing line.
Then we can move into the testing phase. We will need you to supply us with a panel that is laminated and exposed so we can prove our developers capability.
Since this is a time, temperature, and light-sensitive process we ask you to ship us the samples right away. A second option is to send the metal, laminate, and artwork so we can process them here.
What if you are just starting a photo etching shop and cannot do this yourself?
Chemcut has the ability to clean, laminate, expose, develop, etch, and strip, in-house! All you will need to supply is the artwork, laminate, and the metal that needs to be etched.
Chemcut can test unusual chemistries (organic solvents for example) for material compatibility prior to system build to verify the process will work, and that materials selected for construction are durable and robust.
Chemcut will prove our developer can attain your goals and we will help you optimize all your wet processing steps.
In the end, the optimization really comes down to you testing your new developing equipment and finding what best works for you, but we will be here the whole time to help you through every step.
Ultimately the main reasons our customers love working with us are:
We are here to serve you. Our pre and post-sales support is second to none and prides itself on our customer’s success.
Etching Performance. Our etchers provide companies with the most uniform and accurate etched surface on the market today.
Durability. Our wet processing machines are built to last using USA sourced material that is the best in the world. We have hundreds if not thousands of etchers, developers, and strippers that are well over 30 years old still providing high quality etched components.
Vertically Integrated. We make over 90% of our parts so we do not rely on anyone else to make parts for us. This gives us complete control over quality and the ability to make parts in order to support installed systems that are over 30 years old. We never have to worry about a supplier discontinuing a part and if a part is not in stock, we can start building it immediately.
Completely customized wet processing machines. You can buy a standard etcher, or you can customize every single detail.
Research and Developing Lab Testing. Our research and development lab will prove to you that our machines can etch the components you want and can help you optimize your etching process.
Scale Up. Consultation with Chemcut design and process engineers will help you scale up from prototype design to full-scale continuous production.
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