The bonding of surface mounted components to printed wiring boards PWBs is critical to the high yield assembly of components to the PWB. This process is one of the last steps performed in a complicated manufacturing and assembly sequence. Poor bondability at this late stage of assembly produces costly scrap. Aggressive wetchemical processes may succeed in cleaning the residues from the metal bonding lands, but in the process the polymeric materials that surround the land areas may be mechanically or visually damaged. Even when processing is carefully controlled during the final formation of land areas in the conformal coating, a thin residue, often invisible to the eye, can partially or fully cover the bonding land area. The residue may be extremely thin, but it inhibits bonding and is very resistant to conventional wetchemical cleaning methods. Plasma chemical etching is the one chemical process which can remove the residue from the metal lands and restore bondability without damaging other surfaces of the readytoassemble PWB. This paper reports examples of plasma removed residues from PWB surface mount bonding lands. The land areas are defined in photodefinable conformal coatings by conventional photolithographic techniques and have a nonvisible surface residue which inhibits the subsequent plating or soldering of the copper land. Auger analyses of the copper land surfaces prior to plasma processing show significant carbon peaks indicative of a polymeric residue. Auger analyses of the copper land surfaces following plasma processing show that the strong carbon peaks are gone.
Circuit World – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1991
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