SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Reliable Novel Nickel-Free Surface Finish Solution for High-Frequency PCB Applications

Authors: Ariel McFalls, Sam Rhodes, and Kunal Shah, Ph.D.
Company: LiloTree
Date Published: 9/22/2019   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: 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, 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 applications.

Key Words: 

surface finish, ENIG, nickel-less technology, high reliability, robust solder joint, intermetallics



Members download articles for free:

Not a member yet?

What else do you get when you join SMTA? Read about all of the benefits that go along with membership.

Notice: Sharing of articles is restricted to just your immediate work group. Downloaded papers should not be stored on an external network or shared on the internet.


Back


SMTA Headquarters
6600 City West Parkway, Suite 300
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 USA

Phone +1 952.920.7682
Fax +1 952.926.1819