Difference between revisions of "Chemical Etchants"

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Hi,
revert to 26 June 2013
 
  
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It's no secret that high-quality content is key to a successful online presence. But creating great content takes a lot of time and effort - time that you might not have.
 +
That's where jasperbot.de comes in. Jasper is artificial intelligence software that writes better content for your website, emails and social media. It's free to use, so why not give it a try?
 +
I think you'll be impressed with the quality of the content jasper produces - take a look at the demo and try out the demo.
 +
It's free! Check it out at http://addon-coders.de/
  
{{stub}}
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Sincerely,
 
+
Sean
Chemical etching is one step of some popular [[techniques | PCB fabrication techniques]].
 
 
 
In this technique,
 
* one starts with a copper-clad board.
 
* one puts a mask over all the copper he want to keep. There are a variety of ways to do this -- see [[Toner Transfer]] and [[Photoetching]].
 
* one removes the parts he don't want to keep, by chemically etching away the copper.
 
* cleanup: wash off the board in the sink; carefully store or dispose of the acid.
 
 
 
There are a lot of different chemical techniques for doing this, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.
 
 
 
None of these chemicals is incredibly dangerous, but they can all be toxic or caustic, and should be treated with care. Eye protection and gloves are a very good idea. Before you start, make sure you know how dangerous each chemical is, and figure out what you will need to do if you spill it or get it on yourself. Washing with plenty of water is usually a good start. For some chemicals you may want to keep a neutralizing agent handy. An MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet) for the chemical will give you some basic information.
 
 
 
== vinegar and salt ==
 
 
 
* [http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2575 How to get what you want: Salt and Vinegar Etching]
 
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeanbaptisteparis/4831465916/ smt pcb with Salt and Vinegar]
 
* [http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Saltwater-etch-process/ The Saltwater etch process]
 
* [http://www.electro-tech-online.com/general-electronics-chat/33876-electro-etching-no-acid.html electro etching a PCB with vinegar, salt, and a 12 V power supply] (the copper etched off the PCB is plated on the anode?) -- however, other people claim that "You should not be using any acids (or basic 'acids') with your [electro] etcher at all. No FeCl no vinegar, etc ".[http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=671936]
 
 
 
 
 
== Ferric Chloride ==
 
This is the most common hobbyist etchant. Ferric chloride, FeCl<sub>3</sub>, is a brownish substance. It's usually sold in a bottle (dissolved in water, perhaps with a little acid or peroxide) or as a powder (which you have to dissolve in water).
 
 
 
When in solution, ferric chloride is a ferric ion (Fe<sup>3+</sup>) and a chloride ion (Cl<sup>-</sup>). The ferric ion reacts with the metallic copper on the circuit board in a redox reaction, producing a ferrous ion (Fe<sup>2+</sup>) and cuprous or cupric (Cu<sup>1+</sup> or Cu<sup>2+</sup>) copper. The chlorine is just along for the ride. The copper ion, unlike the metallic copper, is soluble, so it leaves the circuit board and goes into solution. The reaction products form a black sludge which settles to the bottom of the etching tank. After etching enough copper, all your Fe<sup>3+</sup> is used up and your solution is full of Cu<sup>1+</sup>, and you need to get more etchant.
 
 
 
== Ammonium Persulfate ==
 
Expensive & hard to control and optimize the process parameters (such as specific gravity & pH value).
 
 
 
== HydroChloric Acid / Hydrogen Peroxide ==
 
 
 
Mixing about 1 part HCl (Which can be found at most hardware stores, also known as Muriatic Acid. Ask for concrete cleaner.) into 2 parts Hydrogen peroxide (normally used for cleaning cuts) you can make a fairly powerful etchant. Use gloves and don't breathe the fumes though. This will etch a 3"x5" board in less than 10 minutes. No need to heat it up. I usually like to drill a small hole through the board on a corner and thread a wire or nylon string through to help agitate / remove the board.
 
 
 
When the board is done etching, the etchant will probably look like green kool-aid, from the copper content in it. This stuff is highly corrosive and will burn skin, which is why you should wear gloves. But it is easy to handle, and fairly easy to dispose of. the etchant is easily deactivated with baking soda. Pour enough baking soda into it slowly (to keep it from boiling and overflowing... remember what happens with baking soda/vinegar? ya...) until it is a solid mass, then leave it in the sun to dry. You should contact your local authorities to find out what you should do with it next. Whatever you do, DO NOT dump the stuff down the drain, it will eat through your pipes just like any of the other etchants.
 
 
 
Alternatively, instead of disposing of the etchant, you can re-use it again and again. In fact, after etching a few boards with this solution, you will have successfully made [[Chemical Etchants#Acid Cupric Chloride|Acid Cupric Chloride]] (see below).
 
You can also find a detailed tutorial on etching at [http://robotplatform.com/howto/pcb%20etching/pcb_etching_1.html Muriatic Acid etching tutorial]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
# After you've masked your board, dip it in the solution and constantly agitate. You should notice a dark green cloud start to come from the board almost immedately which quickly dissapears or turns lighter as it gets further from the surface of the board.
 
# Etching should take about 10min depending on the temperature and how well you agitated the etchant. When all of the copper is gone, dip in water to wash off any stray etchant and stop the reaction.
 
# When done etching, save used etchant in a non-metalic container and mark clearly its contents.
 
# If your etchant has become a dark, murky green color, add a little bit of H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> or bubble air/O<sub>2</sub> through the solution to regenerate it back to a light, transparent green color.
 
See links at bottom for more information on the chemistry and some pictures of the process.
 
 
 
== Disposal procedures ==
 
Flushing used etchant down the drain is a bad idea (and usually illegal) because copper ion is toxic. The usual recommended way to dispose of hobbyist amounts of etchant is to convert it to a solid somehow and dispose of the solid in accordance with local laws.
 
 
 
== External Links ==
 
 
 
* [http://www.instructables.com/id/Sponge-Ferric-Chloride-Method-Etch-Circuit-Bo/ "Sponge + Ferric Chloride Method -- Etch PCBs in One Minute!"]
 
* [http://www.k9spud.com/wiki/PCB:Etchants Ferric Chloride vs. Ammonium Persulfate] and other etching chemicals.
 
* [http://members.optusnet.com.au/~eseychell/PCB/etching_CuCl/index.html Etching with Air Regenerated Acid Cupric Chloride] — an excellent in-depth page on acid cupric chloride etching by Adam Seychell.
 
* [http://www.esmonde-white.com/home/diversions/etching-a-copper-pcb Etching a Copper PCB with HCl and H2O2]
 
* [http://www.mgchemicals.com/ MG Chemicals] A possible source?
 
* [http://reprap.org/wiki/MakePCBInstructions RepRap wiki: Make PCB instructions]
 
 
 
== Internal Links ==
 
 
 
 
 
*[[Toner Transfer]]
 
*[[Techniques]]
 
*[[Eagle Links]]
 
 
 
 
 
[[Category:Techniques]]
 

Revision as of 21:04, 13 September 2022

Hi,

It's no secret that high-quality content is key to a successful online presence. But creating great content takes a lot of time and effort - time that you might not have. That's where jasperbot.de comes in. Jasper is artificial intelligence software that writes better content for your website, emails and social media. It's free to use, so why not give it a try? I think you'll be impressed with the quality of the content jasper produces - take a look at the demo and try out the demo. It's free! Check it out at http://addon-coders.de/

Sincerely, Sean