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Mechanical shock behavior of environmentally-benign Pb-free solders

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The mechanical behavior of Pb-free solder alloys is important, since they must maintain mechanical integrity under thermomechanical fatigue, creep, and mechanical shock conditions. Mechanical shock, in particular, has become an increasing concern in the electronics industry, since electronic packages can

The mechanical behavior of Pb-free solder alloys is important, since they must maintain mechanical integrity under thermomechanical fatigue, creep, and mechanical shock conditions. Mechanical shock, in particular, has become an increasing concern in the electronics industry, since electronic packages can be subjected to mechanical shock by mishandling during manufacture or by accidental dropping. In this study, the mechanical shock behavior of Sn and Sn-Ag-Cu alloys was systematically analyzed over the strain rate range 10-3 - 30 s-1 in bulk samples, and over 10-3 - 12 s-1 on the single solder joint level. More importantly, the influences of solder microstructure and intermetallic compounds (IMC) on mechanical shock resistance were quantified. A thorough microstructural characterization of Sn-rich alloys was conducted using synchrotron x-ray computed tomography. The three-dimensional morphology and distribution of contiguous phases and precipitates was analyzed. A multiscale approach was utilized to characterize Sn-rich phases on the microscale with x-ray tomography and focused ion beam tomography to characterize nanoscale precipitates. A high strain rate servohydraulic test system was developed in conjunction with a modified tensile specimen geometry and a high speed camera for quantifying deformation. The effect of microstructure and applied strain rate on the local strain and strain rate distributions were quantified using digital image correlation. Necking behavior was analyzed using a novel mirror fixture, and the triaxial stresses associated with necking were corrected using a self-consistent method to obtain the true stress-true strain constitutive behavior. Fracture mechanisms were quantified as a function of strain rate. Finally, the relationship between solder microstructure and intermetallic compound layer thickness with the mechanical shock resistance of Sn-3.8Ag-0.7Cu solder joints was characterized. It was found that at low strain rates the dynamic solder joint strength was controlled by the solder microstructure, while at high strain rates it was controlled by the IMC layer. The influences of solder microstructure and IMC layer thickness were then isolated using extended reflow or isothermal aging treatments. It was found that at large IMC layer thicknesses the trend described above does not hold true. The fracture mechanisms associated with the dynamic solder joint strength regimes were analyzed.

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Date Created
2012

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Quantifying electromigration processes in Sn-0.7Cu solder with lab-scale X-ray computed micro-tomography

Description

For decades, microelectronics manufacturing has been concerned with failures related to electromigration phenomena in conductors experiencing high current densities. The influence of interconnect microstructure on device failures related to electromigration in BGA and flip chip solder interconnects has become a

For decades, microelectronics manufacturing has been concerned with failures related to electromigration phenomena in conductors experiencing high current densities. The influence of interconnect microstructure on device failures related to electromigration in BGA and flip chip solder interconnects has become a significant interest with reduced individual solder interconnect volumes. A survey indicates that x-ray computed micro-tomography (µXCT) is an emerging, novel means for characterizing the microstructures' role in governing electromigration failures. This work details the design and construction of a lab-scale µXCT system to characterize electromigration in the Sn-0.7Cu lead-free solder system by leveraging in situ imaging.

In order to enhance the attenuation contrast observed in multi-phase material systems, a modeling approach has been developed to predict settings for the controllable imaging parameters which yield relatively high detection rates over the range of x-ray energies for which maximum attenuation contrast is expected in the polychromatic x-ray imaging system. In order to develop this predictive tool, a model has been constructed for the Bremsstrahlung spectrum of an x-ray tube, and calculations for the detector's efficiency over the relevant range of x-ray energies have been made, and the product of emitted and detected spectra has been used to calculate the effective x-ray imaging spectrum. An approach has also been established for filtering `zinger' noise in x-ray radiographs, which has proven problematic at high x-ray energies used for solder imaging. The performance of this filter has been compared with a known existing method and the results indicate a significant increase in the accuracy of zinger filtered radiographs.

The obtained results indicate the conception of a powerful means for the study of failure causing processes in solder systems used as interconnects in microelectronic packaging devices. These results include the volumetric quantification of parameters which are indicative of both electromigration tolerance of solders and the dominant mechanisms for atomic migration in response to current stressing. This work is aimed to further the community's understanding of failure-causing electromigration processes in industrially relevant material systems for microelectronic interconnect applications and to advance the capability of available characterization techniques for their interrogation.

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Date Created
2015