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Ion Beam Milling associate Joe Krasucki authored an article in the September 2016 issue of High Frequency Electronics magazine on the advantages of Platinum as a barrier metal in thin film applications.
In the article, Joe discusses why Platinum is still the best choice to serve as the barrier between the top layer of gold and the underlying adhesion layer (often Titanium) that bonds the metal stack to the ceramic substrate.
Platinum has received somewhat of a bad rap in recent years, being perceived as more expensive than comparable barrier materials and difficult to etch, however both of these accusations have more rumor than truth to them. From a cost perspective, the thin layer of Platinum that is used in sputtering applications is no more expensive than a similar layer of Nickle or Palladium but it outperforms both of them.
With respect to being difficult to etch, our Ion Beam Milling process has no trouble removing Platinum (or just about any other type of metallization) and our prices are very competitive with chemical etching houses.
So feel free to give Platinum (and the article) a closer look. You might be surprised at what we can build for you.