PCB cleanliness can be evaluated in accordance with the latest industry standards using a variety of test techniques. In Zestron’s Analytical Center, one of the comprehensive methods employed is Ion Chromatography. This highly sensitive analytical method, provides a detailed report of anions, cations, and weak organic acids present on PCBAs according to IPC-TM-650 2.3.28A. Thereby, critical substances such as bromide or chloride and their amount can be determined.
Compared to simpler measuring methods such as Contaminometer or Omegameter, where only the whole ion content as equivalent to sodium chloride is built, the ion chromatography provides a quantitative and qualitative measurement of single ions. Potential failures such as leakage currents, electrochemical migration, or corrosion of cupper contacts can be assessed.
The ion chromatography is suitable for both, the evidence of cleanliness after soldering according to guideline and to qualify surfaces after cleaning respectively before coating or bond processes.