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Palladium Plating of Lead Frames


Q. Anyone have the idea of Pd on Lead Frames? I am looking for the information of the above process Pretreatment, Plating and Post treatment.

Mark [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]


A. Mark,

Palladium & Pd/Ni are common installed leadframe processes worldwide. For more information, contact AT&T Nassau Metals or Lea Ronal Co.

For an in-depth look at the technology, read my U.S. Patent:"Process for Preparing Solderable Integrated Circuit Leadframes By Plating With Tin and Palladium" U.S.Patent # 5,454,929. Also read US Patent #'s 4,404,079, 4,404,080, 4,405,432, 4,486,511, 4,628,165, 4,888,449, European Patents: 025,014,6A1, 033,560,8A2, 038,458,6A2, European Patent Applications: 873,050,80.1, 893,029,39.1, and Japan Patent # 60-15678. Also, realize that Pd/Ni solderability has historically had problems and solderability standards were relaxed to accommodate this. You can read about this relaxation in Surface Mount Technology magazine, circa 1993-ish. The reason being Pd/Ni is so pathetically easy to plate, the increase in manufacturability benefits alone far outweighed the solderability inconsistencies. Newer Pd/Ni manufacturing practice has also cleaned up much of those solderability problems.

Good Luck,

Dave Kinghorn
Dave Kinghorn
Chemical Engineer
SUNNYvale, California


Q. It seems that preplated leadframes (i.e Pd/Ni)were introduced in the semiconductor quite some time ago (at least 5 to 10 years ago)... correct me if I'm wrong! But it doesn't seem to replace the well established lead finish such as solder (Pb/Sn) plating in the semiconductor industry. It appears to me that there are still weaknesses in the palladium/nickel preplated that prevent most of the electronic giants (except TI) from changing its present lead finishes (i.e., solder) to palladium preplated. I would expect a lot of my friends in the solder plating industry would like to know more deeply the pros and cons of palladium preplated leadframes as compared to the 80/20 Pb-Sn solder plating. From your in-depth experience, can you roughly figure out:

i) When the solder plating will be replaced by a lead free finishes i.e palladium/nickel plating?
ii) What will be best substitute for lead in tin if we want to continue this well established solder plating?
iii) What type of electronic devices (e.g., fine pitch) will gain more in preplated leadframes?

M Y Kong
- Malaysia

May 13, 2013

Q. Hi, I am Steven. I want to ask about Palladium Plating. Can we just directly plated palladium on top of copper surface without nickel layer? Do we need a gold-flash layer on top of palladium? I found out that palladium alloys, such as Palladium Nickel and Palladium Cobalt are a good replacement for Gold in term of hardness and wear resistance. Do you have data on mechanical properties of PdNi and PdCo? For example, the hardness, electrical conductivity, etc. Many thanks in advance.

Steven Awi
- Singapore

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