A tool and process for electroetching metal films or layers on a substrate employs a linear electrode and a linear jet of electrolyte squirted from the electrode. The electrode is slowly scanned over the film by a drive mechanism. The current is preferably intermittent. In one embodiment a single wafer surface (substrate) is inverted and the jet is scanned underneath. In another embodiment wafers are held vertically on opposite sides of a holder and two linear electrodes, oriented horizontally and on opposite sides of the holder, are scanned vertically upward at a rate such that the metal layers are completely removed in one pass. The process is especially adapted for fabricating C4 solder balls with triple seed layers of Ti--W (titanium-tungsten alloy) on a substrate, phased Cr--Cu consisting of 50% chromium (Cr) and 50% copper (Cu), and substantially pure Cu. Solder alloys are through-mask electrodeposited on the Cu layer. The seed layers conduct the plating current. During etching the seed layers are removed between the solder bumps to isolate them. The phased Cr--Cu and Cu layers are removed by a single electroetching operation in aqueous potassium sulfate and glycerol with cell voltage set to dissolve the phased layer more quickly than the Cu, avoiding excessive solder bump undercutting in the copper layer. The cell voltage may be such that the solder bump is only slightly undercut so as to form a stepped base C4 structure upon reflowing. Ti--W is removed by a chemical process.
Dr. Madhav Datta and Shenoy, R. V., “Electroetching method and apparatus”, U.S. Patent US 08/459,7601996.