UK First for GSPK

GSPK Circuits are thrilled to announce that they are the first PCB Manufacturer in the UK to install a new line to produce the exciting new EPAG finish.

EPAG Electroless Palladium Autocatalytic Gold is a new direct palladium surface finish process with an optional gold layer.

Atotech has developed the advanced PallaBond process, which allows the direct deposition of palladium on copper, without using any nickel and offers two to three times more production capacity because of shorter deposition times compared to ENEPIG (Electroless Nickel / Electroless Palladium / Immersion Gold).

PallaBond, an autocatalytic palladium final finish, is a future generation high end finish with excellent solderability as well as high frequency and low signal loss attributes. It has excellent wire bonding credentials, providing very good bonding capability with gold- and silver- wires, as well as proven bonding capabilities with copper- and copper-palladium wires. The process is suitable for high frequency and key press applications, providing maximum fine feature resolution and definition.

The totally phosphor free finish is bio-compatible, consuming less energy and water than ENIG (Electroless Nickel / Immersion Gold), ENEPIG and Immersion Tin finishes. Its operating temperatures are lower than competitive final finish processes.

Steve Lloyd Managing Director said ‘The industry has been crying out for a solution like this to be readily available in the UK and it’s great that we can lead the way.’

Features and benefits include:

  • Capable of high-density circuitry
  • Low temperature active steps to accommodate high frequency materials
  • Offers planar surface for soldering
  • Suitable for wire bonding of Au, Cu-Pd, Cu, Al, Ag
  • Used with conductive adhesives
  • Suitable for ceramic electronics
  • Thermo compression bonding
  • Supports flex applications
  • Improved high frequency performance
  • Thickness < 0.2 µm allowing very fine L/S
  • Less water consumption because of easier, shorter process
  • Less energy consumption because of low process temperatures
  • No nickel chemistry waste

What is the difference – EPAG and EPIG?

EPAG – Electroless Palladium / Autocatalytic Gold

EPIG – Electroless Palladium / Immersion Gold

EPIG and EPAG are basically the same finish, but with the Auto-catalytic Gold you can get a higher Gold thickness on the Electroless Palladium – so it can be used for more assembly techniques such as gold wire bonding as well as soldering therefore it is a more universal finish.