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syevtushenko

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My main hobby is electronics - from circuit design to making PCB's at home.

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  • I'm not chemist, so it's hard to me to comment from that point of view. Nevertheless, I've discussed this issue with chemists and they told me that use of soap in this solution is perfectly fine. The soap is necessary to improve wetting of the plated surface. This, of course, does not mean that soap is the only possible choice. I'd suggest to prepare solution without soap and then experiment with other additives in order to choose type and amount of additive which will work best for you. I'd appreciate results of your research.

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  • For PCB with plated through holes, process is slightly different. First step is the drilling of all holes which need to be plated. Then holes are plated. Once this is done, regular dry film photoresist process is used. Spray/liquid photoresists can't be used at this step because it can't protect plated holes. Dry film photoresist is able to cover plated holes (this process is called "tenting"). In order to make it work photomask should be prepared without blanks at the place of holes which should be plated. The ordering of steps of PCB making in this case is dictated by the fact that last step of plating is electroplating, i.e. deposition of the copper with electric current, hence all holes need to have electric contact with each other and with negative pole (cathode) of the ele…

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    For PCB with plated through holes, process is slightly different. First step is the drilling of all holes which need to be plated. Then holes are plated. Once this is done, regular dry film photoresist process is used. Spray/liquid photoresists can't be used at this step because it can't protect plated holes. Dry film photoresist is able to cover plated holes (this process is called "tenting"). In order to make it work photomask should be prepared without blanks at the place of holes which should be plated. The ordering of steps of PCB making in this case is dictated by the fact that last step of plating is electroplating, i.e. deposition of the copper with electric current, hence all holes need to have electric contact with each other and with negative pole (cathode) of the electroplating bath.

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  • As far as I remember there are no PDF files inside article.

    I guess use of particular solvent depends on solubility of different instances in different solvents.

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  • Well, almost any acid is not a problem for photoresists. I've experimented with several etchants and found that HCl + hidrogen peroxide is the best. Main advantage of this solution is a high uniformity of etching. FeCl3 is close, but is slow, requires heating and eventually stops etching because of too much copper in the solution. T

    This solution is one of the worst for the thin processes like 0.15/0.15 track/space. It's quite painful to make it etch more or less uniformly. Note that this low uniformity is an inherent property of this solution and does not depend on physical conditions of etching process.

    Perhaps this instructable can be helpful: https://www.instructables.com/Inexpensive-metho...Note that this is relatively complex method, comparing to other DIY alternatives, although it results to high quality plating comparable to industrial PCB's.

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  • Chemical composition of the solution, at the best of my (limited) knowledge is the ammonia complex of copper hypophosphite. Both reactions (at 125 and at 175 degrees) are thermolysis of this complex with the release of copper nanoparticles. During first phase most of the copper is released while second phase is reflow during which copper nanoparticles are joined together. I believe that operational window for both reactions +- 10-15 degrees. Note that I'm not a chemist and here I just repeating what (and how) I did get from papers and from discussions with chemists. So, take this information with care.

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