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MicroClean™ ZE RD-10

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History/Product Development

This product was created in one of the more frustrating, and unique opportunities in RD history.

Rudy was approached at Nepcon by an engineer from Zycon, who wanted to discuss cutting costs of his cleaning operation. Zycon had 7 innerlayer lines, each had an abrasive (aluminum oxide) cleaner, and an acid chemical clean, before photoresist application. The acid cleaner used was of a type called a “Tri-acid” cleaner, which is comprised of a mix of a small amount of Nitric and HCl, remainder being phosphoric acid. The product must be used essentially full strength, to get the real benefits, of long life, and low copper attack, and phosphoric acid ain’t cheep. Zycon’s real problem was they were using an expensive product, full strength, and the drag-out costs were high.

RD was invited in to study the situation, and took samples of the cleaner at various stages of its use, and discovered that the only acid being consumed was the HCl. The whole purpose of the phosphoric was to displace water, thus minimizing the tendency of the cleaner to function as a Cupric Chloride etcher.


RD-10 was created as a dilutable replacement for a tri-acid cleaner. The only acid it contains is HCl. It also contains an organic copper attack inhibitor, to replace the function of the phosphoric acid.

Use Parameters

RD-10 is used at 15% by volume, and was tested by Zycon, and found to be at least as effective as the tri-acid cleaner, at a fraction of the cost. This product cannot be used in equipment with stainless steel components, because it attacks SS.

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