MacDermid Alpha to Revolutionize mSAP with New HDI Compatible Low Etch Direct Metallization Processes

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MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions, a global leader in specialty materials for electronics, announces the release of Blackhole LE and Eclipse LE, significantly upgraded direct metallization technologies for use in the manufacture of high-density mobile PCBs.

With over 260 active lines globally, the printed circuit industry has trusted Blackhole and Eclipse carbon based direct metallization technology for decades to make through holes and micro vias conductive in multilayer and Any Layer HDI designs. With the recent adoption of modified Semi-Additive Processing (mSAP) to further increase circuit densities in the manufacture of flagship level mobile devices, the conservation of the thin copper layer utilized in the starting build-up material has challenged the traditional direct metallization process. This is due to the carbon removal etching step that enables the selective activation of the laminate material. The low etch technology included in the Blackhole LE and Eclipse LE processes represents a revolutionary upgrade to equipment and chemical capabilities, resulting in a primary metallization step that is even leaner on the copper etch budget than that of electroless copper processes. Blackhole LE and Eclipse LE enable direct copper electroplating to the laminate walls and copper target pads of micro via structures without the need of intermediary copper layers from electroless or electrolytic flash plating. This highly reliable micro via structure can be used to create high circuit density with greater manufacturing quality and process yields than previously possible. Existing Blackhole or Eclipse lines can be upgraded to the LE variation with equipment modifications and chemical replacement.

Blackhole LE and Eclipse LE processes can be combined with the soon-to-be released, MacuSpec VF-TH 300 via filling technology, to create reliable mSAP layers that require a drastically shortened or no post bake while still being resistant to V-pitting defects that can occur during the layer final etch, reducing manufacturing time by hours.

“Our global innovation and applications groups have been hard at work addressing the yield challenges seen in the original rollout of mSAP technology. The release of Blackhole LE and Eclipse LE provide board manufacturers a massive upgrade in what this new high-density circuit technology can achieve, and we are looking forward to expanding into new customers, designs, and challenges.” – Bill Bowerman, Director of Primary Metallization, Circuitry Solutions.

For more information on Blackhole LE and Eclipse LE, please visit

About MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions
Through the innovation of specialty chemicals and materials under our Alpha, Compugraphics, Kester, and MacDermid Enthone brands, MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions provides solutions that power electronics interconnection. We serve all global regions and every step of device manufacturing within each segment of the electronics supply chain. The experts in our Semiconductor Solutions, Circuitry Solutions, and Assembly Solutions divisions collaborate in design, implementation, and technical service to ensure success for our partner clients. Our solutions enable our customers’ manufacture of extraordinary electronic devices at high productivity and reduced cycle time. Find out more at


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