A test procedure was developed to assess the capillary flow wettability of solders inside a confined geometry. The test geometry comprised two parallel plates with a controlled gap of constant thickness (0.008 cm, 0.018 cm, 0.025 cm and 0.038 cm). Capillary flow was assessed by: (1) the meniscus or capillary rise of the solder within the gap; (2) the extent of void formation in the gap; and (3) the time dependence of the risen solder film. Tests were performed with the lead‐free solders 95Sn‐5Sb, 96.5Sn‐3.5Ag, and 91.84Sn‐3.33Ag‐4.83Bi. The capillary rise of the lead‐free solders was less than that observed with the 63Sn‐37Pb control. Reducing the solder surface tension and contact angle improved capillary flow. Void formation by the non lead solders increased as the gap became smaller. The extent of voiding was determined primarily by the gap size rather than the wettability parameters (contact angle or surface tension) of the individual alloys.
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