Coating and lithography steps in thin‐film processing require planar and smooth surfaces. Usually ceramic substrates with as‐fired surface roughness of Ra < 0.1µm or with polished surfaces for advanced requirements are used. In general, a thick‐film hybrid has an inappropriate surface for further successful thin‐film processing. In this work, the influence of surface roughness and topography on the properties of thin‐film conductors and the fabrication of vias is investigated. Surface smoothing and local planarisation can be achieved by the use of a thick‐film overglaze or by coating the surface with polyimide prior to thin‐film processing. The improvements in conductor and via yield are measured by adequate test structures with a conductor width of 25µm. Based on the results, a process is given to provide a thick‐film multilayer with a sufficient smooth and planar surface suitable for thin‐film processes.
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