LiloTree

LiloTree is an advanced materials technology company, providing next-generation technology solutions through chemistry and materials innovations. Based in Seattle, Washington, we're an NSF funded company, manufacturer & distrib...

Manufacturer of Bare PCBs

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2 technical articles »

Reliable Novel Nickel-Free Surface Finish Solution For High-Frequency Pcb Applications

Jul 06, 2021 | Ariel McFalls, Sam Rhodes, and Kunal Shah, Ph.D.

The evolution of internet-enabled mobile devices has driven innovation in the manufacturing and design of technology capable of high-frequency electronic signal transfer. Among the primary factors affecting the integrity of high-frequency signals is the surface finish applied on PCB copper pads – a need commonly met through the electroless nickel immersion gold process, ENIG. However, there are well-documented limitations of ENIG due to the presence of nickel, the properties of which result in an overall reduced performance in high-frequency data transfer rate for ENIG-applied electronics, compared to bare copper....

RELIABLE NICKEL-FREE SURFACE FINISH SOLUTION FOR HIGHFREQUENCY-HDI PCB APPLICATIONS

Aug 05, 2020 | Kunal Shah, Ph.D.

The evolution of internet-enabled mobile devices has driven innovation in the manufacturing and design of technology capable of high-frequency electronic signal transfer. Among the primary factors affecting the integrity of high-frequency signals is the surface finish applied on PCB copper pads – a need commonly met through the electroless nickel immersion gold process, ENIG. However, there are well-documented limitations of ENIG due to the presence of nickel, the properties of which result in an overall reduced performance in high-frequency data transfer rate for ENIG-applied electronics, compared to bare copper. An innovation over traditional ENIG is a nickel-less approach involving a special nano-engineered barrier designed to coat copper contacts, finished with an outermost gold layer. In this paper, assemblies involving this nickel-less novel surface finish have been subjected to extended thermal exposure, then intermetallics analyses, contact/sheet resistance comparison after every reflow cycle (up to 6 reflow cycles) to assess the prevention of copper atoms diffusion into gold layer, solder ball pull and shear tests to evaluate the aging and long-term reliability of solder joints, and insertion loss testing to gauge whether this surface finish can be used for high-frequency, high density interconnect (HDI) applications....

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