The occurrence of black pad in the electroless Ni film during the immersion gold process is related to the surface morphology of the Ni(P) film. A nonuniform distribution of the nodule size and curvature is the crucial factor. Large nodules with small surface curvatures had higher P concentration and did not corrode, while small nodules with large surface curvatures had lower P concentration and corroded. Experiments using different types of Cu substrates suggest that the Ni(P) film black pad susceptibility increased with the defect density and/or the residual stress in the underlying substrate. Annealing the Cu substrate before the electroless Ni plating greatly reduced the black pad formation.