PCB Surface Finishes & The Cleaning Process - A Compatibility Study

Published:

October 20, 2021

Author:

Umut Tosun, Naveen Ravindran

Abstract:

All PCBs that are manufactured require a surface finish to protect exposed copper on the surface which if left unprotected, can oxidize, rendering the board unusable. To address this issue, it is common to surface treat the PCB prior to assembly and reflow. The surface finish not only prevents oxidation of the underlying copper, but guarantees a solderable surface. A cost effective and widely used approach to PCB surface finish is HASL (Hot Air Solder Leveling). However, as circuit complexity and component density have increased, HASL has reached its limitations, necessitating the need for thinner coatings. Thus, coatings such as Immersion Tin (ImSn), Immersion Silver (ImAg), Organic Solderability Preservatives (OSP), and Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold (ENIG) are becoming more widely used....

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