Thermal fatigue endurance of Sn3Ag0.5Cu0.5In0.05Ni and Sn2.5Ag0.8Cu0.5Sb solders in composite solder joints of LTCC/PWB assemblies

O. Nousiainen (Materials Engineering Laboratory and EMPART Research Group of Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
T. Kangasvieri (Microelectronics and Materials Physics Laboratories and EMPART Research Group of Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
R. Rautioaho (Materials Engineering Laboratory and EMPART Research Group of Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
J. Vähäkangas (Microelectronics and Materials Physics Laboratories and EMPART Research Group of Infotech Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Publication date: 8 February 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the thermal fatigue endurance of two lead‐free solders used in composite solder joints consisting of plastic core solder balls (PCSB) and different solder materials, in order to assess their feasibility in low‐temperature cofired ceramic (LTCC)/printed wiring board (PWB) assemblies.

Design/methodology/approach

The characteristic lifetime of these joints was determined in a thermal cycling test (TCT) over a temperature range of −40‐125°C. Their failure mechanisms were analyzed after the TCT using scanning acoustic and optical microscopy, scanning electronic microscope, and field emission scanning electronic microscope investigation.

Findings

The results showed that four different failure mechanisms existed in the test assemblies cracking in the mixed ceramic/metallization zone; or a mixed transgranular/intergranular failure occurred at the low temperature extreme; whereas an intergranular failure within the solder matrix; or separation of the intermetallic layer and the solder matrix occurred at the high temperature extreme. Sn3Ag0.5Cu0.5In0.05Ni was more resistant to mixed transgranular/intergranular failure, but had poor adhesion with the Ag3Sn layer. On the other hand, cracking in the mixed ceramic/metallization zone typically existed in the joints with Sn2.5Ag0.8Cu0.5Sb solder, whereas the joints with Sn3Ag0.5Cu0.5In0.05Ni were practically free of these cracks. The characteristic lifetimes of both test joint configurations were at the same level (800‐1,000) compared with joints consisted of Sn4Ag0.5Cu solder and PCSB studied earlier.

Originality/value

The study investigated in detail the failure mechanisms of the Sn3Ag0.5Cu0.5In0.05Ni and Sn2.5Ag0.8Cu0.5Sb solders under harsh accelerated test conditions. It was proved that these solders behaved similarly to the ternary SnAgCu solders in these conditions and no improvement can be achieved by utilizing these solders in the non‐collpasible solder joints of LTCC/PWB assemblies.

Keywords

Citation

Nousiainen, O., Kangasvieri, T., Rautioaho, R. and Vähäkangas, J. (2011), "Thermal fatigue endurance of Sn3Ag0.5Cu0.5In0.05Ni and Sn2.5Ag0.8Cu0.5Sb solders in composite solder joints of LTCC/PWB assemblies", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 30-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/09540911111099686

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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