Surface finishing is an integral part of any PCB fabrication. It is generally applied to exposed Cu connectors and conductors on the board. Surface finishing has numerous important functions. It serves as a protective layer for the Cu connectors during storage. The surface finish helps minimize or reduce tarnish of the Cu substrate. Additionally, since it is the layer that comes into contact with other components during assembly, it ensures good solderability between the PCB and the component during assembly. Furthermore after assembly, the finish helps prolong the integrity of the solder joint during use.
A general review of common PCB surface finishes is presented. The advantages and disadvantages of each are discussed and compared.
SMTA - Surface Mount Technology Association is a non-profit international association of companies and individuals (totalling 4,000) involved in all aspects of advanced electronics assembly, surface mount and related technologies.
IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries is a US-based trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its nearly 2,600 member companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed wiring board manufacturing and electronics assembly.