ENIG – Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold

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With recent developments regarding RoHS, Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold has been growing as one of the best finishing methods for printed circuit boards. ENIG is a costlier finish, but offers the best characteristics for printed circuit boards. The process requires the most steps over other finishing types and is a more difficult process which is why fewer printed circuit board manufacturers offer it as an option.

The electroless nickel is an auto-catalytic process depositing nickel on the palladium catalyzed copper surface. The reducing agent containing nickel ions must be replenished in order to provide proper concentration, temperature and pH levels necessary for this step in the ENIG process in order to create a consistent coating. The nickel is then processes with the gold, or a better description would be that the gold applies it-self to the nickel plated areas to protect the nickel until the soldering process. The gold thickness needs to meet tolerances to ensure that the nickel maintains its solderability.

Electroless nickel immersion gold is a sophisticated process that is very different from the normal dip tank to dip tank plating process. ENIG requires a knowledgeable and experienced plating department in order to manufacture a quality board. KINGFORD is one of the leading printed circuit board manufactures that has both the skills and experience to offer Electroless nickel immersion gold finishing and is one of the reasons KINGFORD is a leading supplier of printed circuit boards to leading OEMs and Electronic Contract Manufacturers.

ENIG is by its nature a sophisticated chemical system that requires knowledgeable plating personnel and lab maintenance.  “Dip and dunk” mentalities will only create defective parts.

Electroless nickel immersion gold  chemistries offer many strengths including excellent wettability, coplanarity, surface oxidation and long shelf-life.




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