Presents the results of a study of the effects of solder ball pad metallurgy, intermetallic compound (IMC) thickness and thermal cycling on the shear strengths of PBGA package solder balls. The study of the microstructures of solder balls revealed that only a very thin layer of intermetallic compound existed between solder balls and Ni or Ni alloy barrier layers immediately after ball placement and reflow. The protective Au layer was dissolved completely and a needle like AuSn4 intermetallic compound was then formed and dispersed evenly in the solder balls. The overall thickness of the IMC layers was thicker than 15μm after storage at 150°C for 1,000 hours. During the shear tests failure occurred at the interface of the two IMC layers. The fracture surfaces of solder balls with electrolytic Ni and thick Au layers were smooth and brittle fracture was observed. The ball shear strength decreased dramatically with the formation of IMC layers. For the solder balls with electroless Ni and thin Au layers, only a single IMC layer was formed at the interface and its thickness was only 2.5 μm after storage at 150°C for 1,000 hours.
Hua Zhong, C. and Yi, S. (1999), "Solder joint reliability of plastic ball grid array packages", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 44-48. https://doi.org/10.1108/09540919910254930Download as .RIS
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