Epithas® Ni/Au Process for Under Bump Metallization: Aluminum / Aluminum Alloys

These under bump metallization steps produce optimum results on aluminum and aluminum alloys:


  • Cleaner – Epithas MCL-16 alkaline soak cleaner for silicon wafers is designed for the pretreatment of aluminum prior to electroless nickel plating. (Also available: MCL-067 CMOS-compatible cleaner.)
  • Micro etch – Epithas LEC-18 micro etch for aluminum removes oxide surface film from aluminum and aluminum alloys. An exceptional pretreatment for plating electroless nickel on aluminum for silicon wafers. (Also available: LEC-19 CMOS-compatible micro etch.)
  • HNO3 acid rinse forms a thin oxide layer on the aluminum IC pad.
  • First zincate – Epithas®MCT-22 is an alkaline zincate pretreatment chemical for nickel plating on aluminum alloy pads. It significantly reduces the dissolution of aluminum compared with its predecessor product, develops a thin, uniform zinc deposit, and provides good adhesion between nickel and aluminum.
  • HNO3 zinc strip
  • Second zincate – Epithas MCT-22 zincate solution


  • Electroless nickel – Epithas NPR-18 mildly acidic electroless nickel plating bath for fine line circuitry in silicon wafer plating.  Stable, easy-to-use bath allows bridge-free deposit of electroless nickel.  Nickel layer forms an adherent coating to the IC and functions as a diffusion barrier. Optimized for automatic solution control using Uyemura Starline NI controller. (Also available: NPR-18CM CMOS-compatible electroless nickel.)
  • Immersion gold – Epithas TDS-20 neutral immersion gold bath for silicon wafers is designed for surface mount applications and wafer plating.  TDS neutral immersion gold won’t corrode the underlying nickel surface, so it provides excellent solder joint reliability, including small solder balls. Cyanide-free.

    An alternative to Epithas TDS-20 is Epithas TDS-43, a neutral, cyanide-free bath for plating the immersion gold layer of ENEPIG on aluminum or copper pads. Epithas TDS-43 is a high reliability soldering and wire bonding surface. The bath is highly stable and easy to control.

  • Auto-catalytic gold – Epithas TMX-15 electroless gold for silicon wafers is cyanide-free, with a neutral pH.  Ideal for surface mount and wafer plating.  Will not corrode the underlying nickel surface, thus it provides excellent solder joint reliability.

We recommend TDS-20 immersion gold as the under-layer, and NPR-18 electroless nickel with TMX-15 electroless gold.

Read Under Bump Metallization: Some Economical Alternatives by Mario Orduz, published in US Tech.

UBM, Under Bump Metallization, Aluminum, Aluminum Alloys, Flip Chip Packages

* the substrate determines whether
micro etching is needed.