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The wire bondability of Au-Ni-Cu bond pads with different Au plating schemes, including electrolytic and immersion plates, are evaluated after plasma treatment. The plasma cleaning conditions, such as cleaning power and time, are optimized based on the process window and wire pull strength measurements for different bond pad temperatures. Difference in the efficiency of plasma treatment in improving the wire bondability for different Au plates is identified. The plasma-cleaned bond pads are exposed to air to evaluate the recontamination process and the corresponding degradation of wire pull strength. The changes in bond pad surface characteristics, such as surface free energy and polar functionality, with exposure time are correlated to the wire pull strength, which in turn provides practical information about the shelf life of wire bonding after plasma cleaning.