Modeling Copper Electrodeposition on a Circuit Board

Caty Fairclough June 21, 2018

If you were to take apart almost any modern electronic product, you would find a printed circuit board (PCB). A closer look at this common component reveals a pattern of copper lines on its surface. These conducting lines can be created using a process called electrodeposition, which modifies device surfaces via electrochemical reactions. To enhance electrodeposition techniques for circuit board manufacturing, engineers can use numerical modeling.

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Scott Smith August 24, 2016

Resistive and capacitive effects are fundamental to the understanding of electrochemical systems. The resistances and capacitances due to mass transfer can be represented through physical equations describing the corresponding fundamental phenomena, like diffusion. Further, when considering the resistive or capacitive behavior of double layers, thin films, and reaction kinetics, such effects can be treated simply through physical conditions relating electrochemical currents and voltages. Lastly, resistances and capacitances from external loading circuits can easily be represented in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Guest Alexandre Oury March 11, 2015

Today, we welcome a new guest blogger, Alexandre Oury of SIMTEC. He discusses the analysis of current distributions in a molten salt electro-refiner. In a webinar highlighting electrochemical recycling processes, SIMTEC presented a computational approach for predicting current distributions in a molten salt electro-refiner. The three main types of current distribution (primary, secondary, and tertiary) were treated, with a particular emphasis on the first two types. Using COMSOL Multiphysics, we implemented primary and secondary current distributions in an electrolysis cell.

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Mikael Fredenberg December 17, 2014

The printed circuit board (PCB) is the heart of almost any electronic product, carrying the components and copper wires supporting its functionality. The manufacture often involves electroplating, a process that can vary between designs. This leaves you, the engineer behind its simulation and optimization, constantly creating new models. What if you could push much of this work onto the designers, engineers, and technicians behind its design and manufacture, having them run their own electroplating simulations for PCBs? See how here.

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Edmund Dickinson April 17, 2014

What’s a penny made of? Though they appear to be solid copper coins, they actually don’t contain much copper at all these days. Instead, the U.S. Mint saves money by applying only a veneer of valuable metal onto a less expensive one. Have you ever thought about the manufacturing process by which this is achieved? Let’s find out.

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Melanie Pfaffe February 10, 2014

When designing electrochemical cells, we consider the three classes of current distribution in the electrolyte and electrodes: primary, secondary, and tertiary. We recently introduced the essential theory of current distribution. Here, we illustrate the different current distributions with a wire electrode example to help you choose between the current distribution interfaces in COMSOL Multiphysics for your electrochemical cell simulation.

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Edmund Dickinson February 7, 2014

In electrochemical cell design, you need to consider three current distribution classes in the electrolyte and electrodes. These are called primary, secondary, and tertiary, and refer to different approximations that apply depending on the relative significance of solution resistance, finite electrode kinetics, and mass transport. Here, we provide a general introduction to the concept of current distribution and discuss the topic from a theoretical stand-point.

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Fanny Griesmer February 4, 2013

Electrodeposition is the process of making a substance adhere to an object through electrochemical reactions. Sometimes the substance is available in the solution form and other times it is a solid object too, and needs to undergo electrochemical reactions in order to dissolve into solution; often as part of the electrodeposition process. Electrodeposition can be an important part of the refining process of certain metals, such as copper, silver, and gold and is often referred to as electrorefining or electrowinning. […]

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