Continue to Site

Welcome to

Welcome to our site! is an international Electronics Discussion Forum focused on EDA software, circuits, schematics, books, theory, papers, asic, pld, 8051, DSP, Network, RF, Analog Design, PCB, Service Manuals... and a whole lot more! To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Different methods for PCB etching

Not open for further replies.

mick the mend

Junior Member level 3
Dec 31, 1999
Reaction score
Trophy points
Activity points
I found this article for the diy people (like me)**broken link removed**

and it works really well

Please don't reply unless you have useful information to add on this post.Thanks
Any other replies are always welcome via PM.

Is this method better than using sodium persulfate? Where can you purchase Cupric Chloride?

I have been using nitric acid (HNO3)that works well and quick if you make a solution not to strong. Gives some fumes so you have to evacuate the air. Be careful about spilling and protect the eyes.

I have been using copper cloride etch solution for many years and always works very fine.
When the solution is saturated you just have to regenerate with HCl and H2O2.
Never had any problems.

I used to use ferrochloride and it work ok, not very well if the water was cold.


For my home projects, I have always used Ferric Chloride. Whatever shortcomings it may have, it is relatively safe to use and easy to get.
At work, when we need a quick one or two sided proto board, we use Ammonium Persulfate. It is a quick etchant and does a clean job, but it is somewhat dangerous (it is a strong oxidizer and can make rocket fuel out of almost any volatile fuel). We get it at a local lab supply house.

Can anybody provide Chapter 7 from the same book? I'm very interested in knowing something more about DIY solder masks (i.e. the -- usually green -- surface coatings) for PCBs.
Thanks in advance.


ferric cloride is best, use that w/ pre*ss-n-p*eel iron on for home projects

also to use ferric clo, use 2 pans fill large w/ hot water small w/ cloride put board in cloride put small pan in big pan and start shaking w/ stick works great

I also use FerroIIIChloride
I tried HCL+ H2O2 but it´s difficult to handle (if you use the wrong concentrade
you etch a PCB in only 10 second´s !!)

but be careful, the Stains are ugly

I use an old aquarium ariator (sic) to agitate ferric chloric and speed up the time for home projects.

BEWARE of breathing Ammonium Persulfate fumes while etching PCB'S. These fumes can cause severe burns to the throat and vocal chords. It appears this damage is irreversiable.

sound bad, i think i not try it :smile:

On 2002-02-25 22:18, ultravox wrote:
I have been using copper cloride etch solution for many years and always works very fine.
When the solution is saturated you just have to regenerate with HCl and H2O2.
Never had any problems.
Hi Ultravox
Please explain how you regenerate the solution? I usually discard the solution when it's saturated :sad:

THE major advantage on FE(III)Cl solutions is that you can store them for years withoul loss of quality . I once misplaced a bottle of almost new mixture , and found it back about five years later . The solution was still as good as new .

The major disadvantage are the stains , wich wil ruin anything it is spilled upon .


I use precoated boards and ferric cloride mixed with "boiling" water, etches in 5-10 mins with some agitation. Works every time for me.

I used to use Ferric Cloride but I have switched over to Sodium Persolphate which I prefer. The tub came with some really scarry warnings about using it. Does anyone have some sensible precaution tips on do's and donts with it? I am not planning on drinking it or putting it in my eye. It is corrosive so I try not to get it anywhere. Anything else?


I wrote a procedure for using just a dot matrix printer and simple supplies for making my boards. It was a while ago before I could afford a LASER printer.


look in the technical page

Not open for further replies.

Part and Inventory Search

Welcome to