Characterization of local deformation in Pb-free solder joints using three dimensional (3D) X-ray microtomography
Pb-free solder joints are commonly used as interconnects in semiconductor packaging. One of the major defects affecting the mechanical performance of solder joints are reflow pores that form during processing. These pores exhibit significant variability in size and distribution, and understanding the effects of pore geometry on failure is an important reliability concern. In this thesis, the pore microstructures of solder joint samples and the localized plastic deformation around individual pores was characterized in 3D using lab scale X-ray Microtomography. To observe the deformation of a solder joint in 3D, a solder joint was imaged with Microtomography after reflow and then deformed in shear in several loading steps with additional tomography data taken between each. The 3D tomography datasets were then segmented using the 3D Livewire technique into regions corresponding to solder and pores, and used to generate 3D models of the joint at each strain value using Mimics software. The extent of deformation of individual pores in the joint as a function of strain was quantified using sphericity measurements, and correlated with the observed cracking in the joint. In addition, the error inherent in the data acquisition and 3D modeling process was also quantified. The progression of damage observed with X-ray Microtomography was then used to validate the deformation and failure predicted by a Finite Element (FE) simulation. The FE model was based on the as-reflowed tomography data, and incorporated a ductile damage failure model to simulate fracture. Using the measured sphericity change and cracking information obtained from the tomography data, the FE model is shown to correctly capture the broad plastic deformation and strain localization seen in the actual joint, as well as the crack propagation. Lastly, Digital Image Correlation was investigated as a method of obtaining improved local strain measurements in 3D. This technique measures the displacement of the inherent microstructural features of the joint, and can give localized strain measurements that can be directly comparable to that predicted by modeling. The technique is demonstrated in 2D on Pb-Sn solder, and example 3D data is presented for future analysis.