netneut -- The Home Page of the Finishing Industry
A website for Serious Education, promoting Aloha,
& the most FUN smiley you can have in metal finishing has been free for 22 years,
but without net neutrality we could soon
cease to exist. Do us a solid, click on
the banner, and contact congress today!
topic 844

Non-metallic deposit during EN plating


I have recently encountered a problem with electroless nickel plating that I am curious about. The plating problem, on printed circuit board, was noticed due to defects in a gold plating layer and solder wetting problems. Cross sections of the nickel plating show an irregular and sometimes very thick nonmetallic deposit where the nickel plating should be. The nickel always covers the copper, but in some areas up to 2/3 of the expected nickel thickness is nonmetallic. The composition of the deposit determined by EDS analysis shows mostly nickel but with much higher phosphorus than in the metallic plating.

Could this nonmetallic material be a nickel phosphite created as a byproduct of the plating reaction? Why does this occur?

Thanks for your input.

larry hanke
Larry Hanke
materials testing laboratory
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Without being able to see it, it sounds like the cleaning process is inadequate or the EN is not being properly run. The Vendor(s) need to be involved in this problem. The larger EN manufacturers labs should be able to help with this. Probably is going to require running test parts under different conditions to determine where the problem lies. A good troubleshooter should be able to do this in a few tries.

James Watts
- Navarre, Florida

This public forum has 60,000 threads. If you have a question in mind which seems off topic to this thread, you might prefer to Search the Site

ADD a Q or A to THIS thread START a NEW THREADView This Week's HOT TOPICS

Disclaimer: It's not possible to diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations may be deliberately harmful.

  If you need a product/service, please check these Directories:

JobshopsCapital Equip. & Install'nChemicals & Consumables Consult'g, Train'g, SoftwareEnvironmental ComplianceTesting Svcs. & Devices

©1995-2017     -    Privacy Policy
How Google uses data when you visit this site.