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Through lifetime monitoring of solder joints using acoustic micro imaging

Ryan S.H. Yang (Electronic and Ultrasonic Engineering, General Engineering Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
Derek R. Braden (Delphi Electronics Group, Kirkby, UK, and)
Guang‐Ming Zhang (Electronic and Ultrasonic Engineering, General Engineering Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)
David M. Harvey (Electronic and Ultrasonic Engineering, General Engineering Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Article publication date: 3 February 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the application of an acoustic micro‐imaging (AMI) inspection technique in monitoring solder joints through lifetime performance and demonstrate the robustness of the monitoring through analysis of AMI data.

Design/methodology/approach

Accelerated thermal cycling (ATC) test data on a flip chip test board were collected through AMI imaging. Subsequently, informative features and parameters of solder joints in acoustic images were measured and analysed. Through analysing histogram distance, mean intensity and grey area of the solder joints in acoustic images, cracks between the solder bump and chip interface were tracked and monitored. The results are in accord with associated Finite Element (FE) prediction.

Findings

At defective bumps, the formation of a crack causes a larger acoustic impedance mismatch which provides a stronger ultrasound reflection. The intensity of solder joints in the acoustic image increase according to the level of damage during the ATC tests. By analysing the variation of intensity and area, solder joint fatigue failure was monitored. A failure distribution plot shows a normal distribution pattern, where corner joints have the lowest reliability and are more likely to fail first. A strong agreement between AMI monitoring test data and FE prediction was observed, demonstrating the feasibility of through lifetime monitoring of solder joints using AMI.

Originality/value

The paper indicates the feasibility of the novel application of AMI inspection to monitor solder joint through lifetime performance non‐destructively. Solder joints' real life conditions can be tracked by an AMI technique, hence solder joint fatigue failure cycles during the ATC tests can be monitored and analysed non‐destructively.

Keywords

Citation

Yang, R.S.H., Braden, D.R., Zhang, G. and Harvey, D.M. (2012), "Through lifetime monitoring of solder joints using acoustic micro imaging", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 30-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/09540911211198531

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited