The Benefits Of Plasma Treatment In Electronics Manufacturing

Benefits of Plasma Surface Treatment


Plasma treatment is a fast and environmentally friendly process for fine cleaning and surface modification in preparation for other applications. Plasma Treatment offers the following benefits:

  • Surface Modification: Surface Energy is increased, surface tension is decreased, wettability and adhesion are improved.
  • Micro-sandblasting: The surface is removed by ion bombardment.
  • Chemical reaction: Chemical reaction of the ionized gas with the surface.
  • UV radiation: UV radiation breaks down long-chain carbon compounds.

The effect of plasma treatment changes based on the process parameters utilized such as power level, air or vacuum pressure, treatment time, gas flow and gas type. Several effects can therefore be achieved with a single plasma treatment method.

Plasma removes release agents (including silicone and oil) from the surface. These are chemically attacked by e.g. oxygen and converted into volatile compounds. The release agents, or their residues, partially evaporate due to the vacuum and the surface heating and modification. The release agent molecules are broken into smaller molecular fragments by the energetic particles in the plasma and can therefore be extracted. In addition, a “micro-blast effect” is created on an atomic level which makes the targeted surface more subjective to bonding.

On PCBs and other electronic assemblies, there are usually invisible deposits such as grease, oil, silicones, fine dust, moisture and oxidation layers. Plasma treatment eliminates these contaminates which would likely affect the flow of coatings or solder, or affect the bond strength of adhesives.

In this study, the benefits of plasma treatment are discussed and the various types of plasma treatment are introduced along with the most effective plasma treatment parameters for electronic manufacturing.

Read more, click to download White Paper

This white paper was presented during the SMTA Expo & Tech Forum Chihuahua, Mexico on April 4th, 2019.

Presentation Slides from SMTA Conference Proceedings 2019