Evaluation of Thermal Fatigue Life and Failure Mechanisms of Sn-Ag-Cu Solder Joints with Reduced Ag Contents

The electronic industry is making substantial progress toward a full transition to Pb-free soldering in the near future. At present, the leading candidate Pb-free solders are near-ternary eutectic Sn-Ag-Cu alloys. The electronic industry has begun to study both the processing behaviors and the thermo-mechanical fatigue properties of these alloys in detail in order to understand their applicability in context of current electronic card reliability requirements. In recent publications, the solidification behavior of the near-ternary eutectic Sn-Ag-Cu alloys has been reported in terms of the formation of large Ag3Sn plates and their effects on mechanical properties of Pb-free solder joints. It was also demonstrated that reducing Ag content in the near-ternary eutectic Sn-Ag-Cu alloys was very effective in controlling the formation of large Ag3Sn plates and thereby reducing the reliability risk factor of solder joints. In the present study, thermal fatigue behavior of CBGA (ceramic ball grid arrays) solder joints was investigated in terms of Ag content, cooling rate, and thermal cycling conditions. Extensive failure analysis was conducted with thermal-cycled solder joints to understand the failure mechanisms operating during the accelerated thermal cycling (ATC) tests.

By: Sung K. Kang, Paul A. Lauro, Da-Yuan Shih, Donald Henderson, Timothy Gosselin, Jay Bartelo, Steve R. Cain, Charles Goldsmith, Karl J. Puttlitz, Tae-Kyung Hwang

Published in: Proceedings of 54th Electronic Components and Technology Conference, Piscataway, NJ,IEEE, , vol.1, p.661-7 in 2004

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