A single-sided PCB (Printed Circuit Board) is the simplest and most basic type of PCB. As the name suggests, it has a design on only one side of its insulating substrate. This means the conductive material, typically copper, is present only on one side of the board.

Characteristics and Features of Single-sided PCBs:

  1. Conductive Layer: Only one layer of copper is used, and it’s on one side of the board.
  2. Substrate: Typically made of a material like FR4 (a type of fiberglass) or phenolic paper. The substrate provides structural support to the board.
  3. Solder Mask: Often applied over the copper to protect it from oxidation, short-circuits, and to provide insulation.
  4. Silkscreen: Used for labeling, providing component placement guidance, and other information. It’s applied over the solder mask.
  5. Simple Designs: Due to having only one conductive layer, the designs for single-sided PCBs are generally simple. Components and traces do not overlap as there’s no space for routing on the reverse side.
  6. Pads and Holes: Components are typically mounted using through-hole technology, where component leads are inserted through holes in the PCB and soldered to pads on the copper side.


Given their simplicity, single-sided PCBs are commonly found in:

  • Basic consumer electronics.
  • Power supplies.
  • Relays, timers, and sensors.
  • Radio and stereo equipment.
  • Calculators and LED lighting.
  • Automotive lighting.


  • Cost-effective: Being simple in design, they are relatively cheap to produce.
  • Easy Production: Suitable for high-volume production.
  • Simplicity: Great for basic electronic circuits.


  • Limited Complexity: Not suitable for intricate electronic applications due to a lack of routing space.
  • Modifications: Any modifications or fixes can be tricky since there’s only one layer to work with.

Manufacturing Process:

The manufacturing process for single-sided PCBs is relatively straightforward:

  1. Start with a substrate with a layer of copper on one side.
  2. Apply a protective mask to areas of copper that shouldn’t be etched away.
  3. Use a chemical solution to etch away the unprotected copper, leaving behind the desired circuit design.
  4. Drill holes for component leads and mounting.
  5. Apply solder mask to protect and insulate the copper traces.
  6. Print the silkscreen layer for component labels and other markings.
  7. Assemble components onto the board.

In the realm of PCBs, single-sided boards are the most basic, but they play an essential role in many electronic products, especially where simplicity and cost-effectiveness are priorities.