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What are the different functions and roles of Immersion Gold PCB and Immersion Silver PCB?

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Immersion Gold (ENIG, Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold) and Immersion Silver PCB are two common PCB surface treatment processes, and they each have different features and application scenarios. Below is the difference between the main functions and roles of Immersion Gold PCB and Immersion Silver PCB:

Immersion Gold PCB (ENIG):

Corrosion Resistance: 

Immersion gold layer has good corrosion resistance, not easy to be oxidised, suitable for long-term storage and use.

Soldering Performance: 

Gold has superior soldering performance, providing good solder joints and stable connections.


The immersion gold process creates a very flat surface, which is conducive to fine-pitch component soldering.


Suitable for a wide range of soldering techniques, including wave soldering, selective soldering and hand soldering.


Commonly used in electronic products that require high reliability and long-term stability, such as mobile phones, computers and high-end communication equipment.

Sinking Silver PCB:


Silver has higher conductivity than gold, and immersed silver PCBs perform better in high-speed signal transmission.


The cost of silver immersion process is usually lower than gold immersion, suitable for cost-sensitive applications.

Thermal Conductivity: 

Silver has better thermal conductivity than gold, which helps dissipate heat from the PCB.


Although the solderability of silver is not as good as that of gold, immersed silver PCBs can still provide stable solderability.


Suitable for communication products, automotive electronics, computer peripherals and high-speed signal design.


Other Differences:

Oxidation Issues: 

Silver oxidises more easily than gold in humid environments, which can affect signal transmission and appearance.

Environmental Impact: 

Gold is a finite resource, while silver mining has less environmental impact.

Technical Requirements: 

The gold immersion process requires high levels of equipment and operation, while the silver immersion process is relatively simple.


Gold immersion PCBs usually have a golden yellow appearance, while silver immersion PCBs present a silvery white or grey appearance. This may have an impact on the appearance requirements of certain products.

Wear Resistance: 

Immersion gold layers have better wear resistance compared to silver layers, which makes immersion gold PCBs more suitable for parts that are frequently touched or slid, such as gold fingers or connectors.

Environmental Adaptability: 

Immersion gold PCBs are more suitable for use in harsh environments such as high temperatures or high humidity due to their oxidation resistance. Immersion silver PCBs may require additional protection under these conditions.

Number of Soldering Cycles: 

Immersion Gold PCBs can usually withstand more soldering cycles, whereas Immersion Silver PCBs may suffer from reduced solderability after multiple soldering cycles.

Signal Integrity: 

Due to the higher conductivity of silver than gold, immersed silver PCBs may provide better signal integrity in high frequency applications.

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: 

Gold and silver have different coefficients of thermal expansion, which may affect the physical stability of the PCB under temperature changes.

Recycling and Environmental Protection: 

Gold has a higher recycling value, and gold immersed PCBs may have a higher recycling value at the end of their life cycle. At the same time, the mining and use of gold has a relatively low impact on the environment.

Process Complexity: 

The gold immersion process may be more complex than the silver immersion process, involving more steps and finer controls.

Market and Supply Chain: 

Fluctuations in the price of gold and silver may affect the cost of gold and silver immersion PCBs. In addition, the stability of the supply chain is a factor to consider when selecting a surface treatment process.

Special Applications: 

Some special applications may require specific surface finishes, such as in certain medical devices, where specific biocompatible materials may need to be used.

When selecting a PCB surface treatment process, design engineers need to consider the above factors to ensure that the final product can meet performance, cost, reliability and environmental requirements.

When selecting a gold or silver immersion PCB, the decision needs to be based on the specific requirements of the product, the cost budget and the intended application environment. For example, if the product needs to operate in harsh environments or requires long-term storage without loss of performance, immersion gold may be a better choice. Whereas, if the product has stringent cost requirements and a high demand for signal transmission speed, immersion silver may be a more appropriate choice.

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