Atotech’s Surface Finish Specialist Rick Nichols at SMTAI 2018


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Rick Nichols, global product manager surface finishing at Atotech Group, is invited to the Surface Finish Expert Panel at this year’s SMTA conference 2018 currently held at the Donald Stephenson Convention Center in Rosemont, USA. The Surface Finish Expert Panel will be hosted on Wednesday, October 17, from 11:00 am to 12:00 p.m.

Rick Nichols will also speak at the SMTA conference itself about Atotech’s latest studies and results on cyanide-free immersion gold (at 11:30 am) and immersion tin for Quad Flat No-lead ICs (at 3:30 pm), both today, Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

In his talk “Can a cyanide free immersion gold bath be a viable option in the existing final finish production environments?” Rick discusses a cyanide-free gold plating solution which was tested in combination with different electroless nickel baths, specifically a mid-phosphorous electroless nickel (MP) and a high-phosphorous electroless nickel (HP).

“When pitted against a traditional immersion gold process in terms of solderability, the novel cyanide-free matrix for an immersion gold bath performed equally as well as the cyanide containing gold baths as a main stream functional finish on MP electroless nickel,” states Rick. “The cyanide free gold bath also has performance and life-time benefits over the cyanide containing gold baths for life times when capping HP nickel, which is being championed by several significant mobile device OEMs at the moment.”

In his presentation on “immersion tin to improve reliability for Quad Flat No-lead ICs by forming a 3D solder joint”, Rick will focus on the incorporation of an immersion tin process when plating Quad Flat No-lead (QFN) devices, as this will make a 3D connection or fillet possible. He will explore the processes required and highlight the main benefits, which are quality enhancement and the potential to improve the reliability of automatic optical inspection (AOI).

Atotech invites all conference visitors to join the talks and meet Rick Nichols to discuss these and other current product highlights.

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