Characteristics of Wet Etching of Copper Foil for Printed Circuit Boards by using Ferric Chloride Solution

Katsutoshi Matsumoto, Shingo Funahashi, Shoji Taniguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The kinetics of dissolution of copper in an agitated vessel containing aqueous solutions of FeCl3 was investigated to clarify the wet etching mechanism in turbulent flow. The dependences of dissolution rate of copper upon the agitation speed, liquid temperature, and the concentration of FeCl3 were investigated. From these results, this etching process appears to be controlled by a liquid phase mass-transfer. In general, it is thought that CuCl is precipitated on a copper surface during the wet etching of copper. To study about this mechanism and determine the rate-limiting species, dissolution rate of CuCl was measured and compared with that of copper. From these results, it is concluded that CuCl is not precipitated on the copper surface and the etching rate of copper is controlled by the diffusion rate of Fe3+. Wet etching experiments of line-patterned copper specimen were performed in an agitated vessel containing aqueous solutions of FeCls. By using of observed diffusivity of Fe3+, a mass-transfer model in wet etching for printed circuit boards has been developed and applied to the analysis of the pattern etching. In conclusion, it is found that this model is almost reliable to evaluate the cavity formation for the pattern etching. However, the calculated cavity shape appears to be inconsistent with the observed one slightly in the case of wide line spacing. It seems that this deviation is caused by the effect of bulk convection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-350
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes
Event2003 International Symposium on Microelectronics - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 2003 Nov 182003 Nov 20


  • Cavity
  • Copper
  • Etching
  • Ferric chloride solution
  • Mass transfer
  • Printed circuit boards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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