3D modeling of void nucleation and initial void growth due to tin diffusion as a result of electromigration in polycrystalline lead-free solders
Electromigration (EM) has been a serious reliability concern in microelectronics packaging for close to half a century now. Whenever the challenges of EM are overcome newer complications arise such as the demand for better performance due to increased miniaturization of semiconductor devices or the problems faced due to undesirable properties of lead-free solders. The motivation for the work is that there exists no fully computational modeling study on EM damage in lead-free solders (and also in lead-based solders). Modeling techniques such as one developed here can give new insights on effects of different grain features and offer high flexibility in varying parameters and study the corresponding effects. In this work, a new computational approach has been developed to study void nucleation and initial void growth in solders due to metal atom diffusion. It involves the creation of a 3D stochastic mesoscale model of the microstructure of a polycrystalline Tin structure. The next step was to identify regions of current crowding or ‘hot-spots’. This was done through solving a finite difference scheme on top of the 3D structure. The nucleation of voids due to atomic diffusion from the regions of current crowding was modeled by diffusion from the identified hot-spot through a rejection free kinetic Monte-Carlo scheme. This resulted in the net movement of atoms from the cathode to the anode. The above steps of identifying the hotspot and diffusing the atoms at the hot-spot were repeated and this lead to the initial growth of the void. This procedure was studied varying different grain parameters. In the future, the goal is to explore the effect of more grain parameters and consider other mechanisms of failure such as the formation of intermetallic compounds due to interstitial diffusion and dissolution of underbump metallurgy.