The adhesion of plated metal layers to polymer surfaces is of prime importance for the reliability of interconnections in
electronics. An increase in the roughness of the polymer surface, caused by chemical treatment, plays an important part in the
adhesion strength of platedmetal layers by increasing the total area of interface between bothlayers.Hence, the evolution ofpolymer
surface roughness, with time, due to the chemical treatment is of prime importance for determining the reliability of interconnections.
The surface roughness changes due to chemical treatment. In this paper, we consider wet solution swellers and oxidizers.
These changes are examined by means of AFM roughness measurements. Each chemical treatment, or combination thereof in a
certain sequence, has its influence on the evolution of the roughness. Swellers increase roughness over treatment time without
etching the surface. Oxidizers, on the other hand, etch part of the surface away and have a more profound influence on roughness.
The evolution of surface roughness with treatment time indicates the mechanisms that cause the formation of roughness on the
surface. This work is an original contribution to the understanding of the evolution of roughness on photo-imageable dielectrics