Selective electroless metallisation for electronic interconnect applications requires the selective activation of insulating substrate surfaces prior to plating. Photoselective activation has emerged as a solution with significant potential to minimise the number of activation process steps. This paper reports a photoselective activation process using ultraviolet excimer lamps to decompose a proprietary palladium‐based ultraviolet‐sensitive photochemical coating. The morphology of the photochemical coating, irradiation process conditions for decomposition to produce palladium metal activation sites, the morphology of the coating and activation, and the adhesion of electroless copper on coarse grain 96% alumina ceramic are reported. Copper feature resolution of better than 50 μm is demonstrated. The process is demonstrated to require photochemical solution concentrations an order of magnitude lower than reported palladium acetate activation processes.
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