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What is ENIG PCB ?

We can define ENIG finish or Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold as the finishing of surfaces that we apply to exposed copper intending to avoid degradation and tarnish. It also makes it easier and suitable to use molten solder on the surface.

The ENIG surface finish process begins by fastidiously cleaning the uncovered copper after applying the welded cover. After cleaning the copper of any debasements, you microetch the surface to set up a surface construction prepared to utilize a palladium catalyst. You then add the catalyst by washing the PCB in an answer of palladium sulfate. After applying the palladium, you clean the PCB again and afterward submit it to a bath in a nickel phosphate arrangement which plates a layer of metallic nickel over the catalyzed copper. After cleaning, you submerge the PCB into the “gold bath” of potassium gold cyanide and gold salt, making metallic gold cling to the nickel plating.

Considering the liquid/immersion deposition procedure, you will get a very consistent surface with ENIG, with uniform levelness far more noteworthy than can be accomplished with HASL style. The gold is likewise a great electrical conveyor and gives prevalent security against discoloring. The nickel gives a defensive covering to the copper, too, holding promptly to bind. Since the interaction includes developing fine atomic layers of protection on the copper, it results in ordinary ENIG layer thicknesses of 0.075 to 0.125 microns. As a result of the ensuing thinness and flatness, it’s anything but an incredible surface treatment for BGA impressions and plated through-hole, where a HASL finish would almost certainly fill or stop up the impression.

ENIG is a costly process because of the crude materials’ expense and the concentrated work advances essential for its application. It is also dependent upon a synthetic wonder called “dark pad,” which can bring about phosphorous pollution between the gold and nickel layers if we do not take adequate consideration during the cleaning procedure.

Wire Bonding Process surface finishing

enig finish PCB

While ENIG surface offers impeccable execution for gold wire holding, it experiences three insufficiencies. Every one of these weaknesses causes an effective barricade for ENIG’s utilization as the main surface completion application for circuit sheets. Here are the three insufficiencies.

  • The prerequisite of electrical transporting for setting up associations with the component during the plating interaction will restrict the densities of highlights you wish to accomplish.
  • As you utilize higher gold thickness, your weld joint unwavering quality may decrease definitely. It is a direct result of the tin-gold between metallic developments.
  • The measure is extravagant and typically requires a high gold thickness.

The limits referenced above likewise give a chance to an Electroless interaction. These may incorporate ENEPIG and ENEG that include Electroless palladium and Electroless gold.

The surface finish enjoys its benefits, like packaging reliability and pricing. However, the expense particularly gets quite possibly the most stressing parts of the interaction. With an increase in gold value, the cost of this kind of surface finish is getting harder to manage.

In any case, gold is more expensive than palladium. Subsequently, producers presently choose to supplant gold with palladium for a savvy yet indistinguishable quality procedure.

ENIG plating is a generally utilized surface completion that utilizes a nickel layer, a nickel-phosphorus compound layer. The phosphorus content has two classes that are phosphorus nickel or high phosphorus nickel. The use of both is not something very similar.

There are sure benefits related to nickel, considering present realities reasonable or a without lead patching measure. The surface it produces is smooth, fine, and level. You can store it for longer periods considering the capacity conditions are fair and not very cruel.

Moreover, nickel is appropriate for restricting aluminum and reasonable for thick boards that can withstand assaults of a few natural components.

ENIG benefits and limitations

Here is a portion of the benefits and inadequacies of ENIG surface completions.


  • It offers a longer time of usability for the circuit boards
  • It is useful for Plated Through Holes (PTH)
  • It offers totally sans lead surface completion for PCBs
  • It creates level surfaces


  • The ENIG surface finish process is quite complicated
  • The PCB circuitry may experience signal loss (RF)
  • The surface finish can damage the ET
  • Black nickel and black-pad
  • The surface finish is non-reworkable
  • This process is expensive because of high gold prices in the market

Possible unforeseen aspects

Makers of PCB, by and large, take incredible consideration when dealing with components and boards to guarantee no harm comes to them. Wearing gloves and utilizing completely fixed bundling goes far to protect the life and ease of use of electronic components. Shielding them from erosion because of dampness, finger oils, and other natural impurities is critical. These are conceivable main drivers of pollution and issues down the line.

ENIG finish is likewise powerless to a specific consumption called “dark pad,” where the nickel has separated more than wanted and expands the phosphorus measure. When the nickel is consumed due to over-oxidation or dissolving during the bind reflow stage, the nickel seems hazier and gets weak.

Yet, a couple of spaces of the circuit board gathering measure commonly go uncontrolled and could permit grip errors like dewetting, non-uniform coatings, consumption, dendrite development, shorts in the board, and numerous other terrible issues.

Control Your Surface Preparation Process

After performing an ENIG finish on PCB, they regularly go into capacity in clusters and anticipate their opportunity to be populated with little parts. These segments will be patched, followed, wire-fortified, sintered, and connected in alternate approaches to the surface mount cushions on the ENIG completed sheets.

If you believe it is ok to open up the ENIG plating and get down to business with the holding, it will be a fun time for you to know the vacuum plasma procedure. Plasma cleaning or plasma treatment is an approach to initiate a surface by designing an artificially viable grouping of particles at the initial not many atomic layers of the materials being fortified.

The job of plasma treatment job in this is to barrage the outside of that ENIG with a gas that adjusts the substance cosmetics of the surface. Attachment of any sort is a compound marvel that requires a specific arrangement of manageable atoms to exist on the two surfaces meeting up to frame the interfacial bond. Vacuum plasma is a typical treatment technique since it can get into amazingly small spaces for exactness substance cleaning. Compound cleaning is the thing that we call getting the synthetic formula of the surface perfectly.

Vacuum plasma treatment works by acquainting an ionized gas with a chamber where a vacuum has been pulled. The PCB is set in the chamber, and the gas collaborates with the surface to clean it of natural pollutants and change its science.

It is critical to remember that the sort of cleaning plasma does is not the cleaning an ultrasonic shower does. Substances like oil or silicone, the plasma will connect with that substance and not the surface the administrators are expecting to clean. With enough time and power, plasma can eliminate certain substances from a surface. Yet, it is consistently critical to comprehend where that force ought to be concentrated. When you over-treat a surface, you can volatilize the surface and cause harm that is unthinkable to expect to skip back from. To utilize plasma most adequately, you need to know precisely what your surface resembles going into the treatment and what it resembles coming out.

Seeing how plasma treatment functions, its impact on attachment is the initial step to controlling the results. To achieve that, you should have the option to gauge the surface neatness of your board when treated. Getting a standard before the boards go into the chamber and afterward getting a quantitative perusing on the neatness once the sheets have gone through the treatment gives you an intensive image of how much the surface is evolving.

Utilizing surface quality estimation hardware as a cycle control strategy tells you how solid your treatment interaction is. Like all quality control techniques, creating details, measurements and norms make unsurprising results and better items. In addition, putting a particular surface quality when treatment offers you the chance to streamline your surface readiness gear.

Dialing in the appropriate process duration and force of the plasma unit permits the treatment interaction to manage its work – eliminating tainting and making a bond-prepared surface. It is likewise imperative to quantify the tidiness inside the vacuum chamber to guarantee no accidental toxins are being stored on the outside of materials being set inside the chamber. Chamber neatness is a frequently neglected Critical Control Point in the bond cycle of PCB production. A Critical Control Point is where the outside of a material has a chance to change, for great or for terrible. Therefore, each Critical Control Point needs to have a spec related to anything but an approach to quantify the neatness by then.


Assembling gadgets includes a great deal of coating and bonding. Each interfacial bond is powerless against contamination, and accordingly, the compound tidiness of each surface should be estimated and perceived all through the whole grip measure. This cycle starts before the cleaning and after the amassing. Each angle is connected, and to make a cycle that considers high dependability. You need to quantify the surface quality. Also, control the results. The principal objective of an ENIG PCB finish is to shield the uncovered copper circuits from consumption. The test is to pick a PCB covering material that considers the electronic segments to be simple and immovably welded onto the circuit board. Since there are various sorts of surface completions accessible for Circuit Boards, choosing the right one can be testing.

Particularly since surface mounts have gotten more mind-boggling, and guidelines, for example, WEEE and ENIG RoHS, which implement natural assurance, have changed the business principles.