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Research on microstructure and mechanical behaviour of smaller microbumps for high density solder interconnects

Man He (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Bo Wang (China Electronics Technology Group Corporation No. 38 Research Institute, Hefei, China)
Weisheng Xia (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Shijie Chen (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China)
Jinzhuan Zhu (China Electronics Technology Group Corporation No. 38 Research Institute, Hefei, China)

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology

ISSN: 0954-0911

Publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the microstructure and mechanical behaviour of smaller microbumps for high density solder interconnects.

Design/methodology/approach

The microstructure was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction tests to determine the Sn grain number of the resultant microbumps. The nanomechanical properties of Sn microbumps were investigated by the nanoindentation and shearing tests to understand the failure mechanism and assess the reliability of ultra-high density solder interconnects with numbered grains.

Findings

Only one Sn grain is observed in the interconnect matrix when the microbumps are miniaturized to 40 μm or less. Because of the body-centred tetragonal lattice of ß-Sn unit cell, the mechanical properties of the one-grain Sn microbumps are remarkably anisotropic, which are proved by the difference of the elastic modulus and the stiffness in the different orientations. The shearing tests show that the one-grain Sn microbump has a typical brittle sliding fracture of monocrystal at different shearing speeds.

Practical implications

The paper provides a comparable study for the performance of the bigger solder joints and also makes preliminary research on the microstructure and mechanical behaviour of Sn microbumps with the diameter of 40 μm.

Originality/value

The findings in this paper provide methods of microstructure study by combination of EBSD test and metallographic analysis, mechanical study by combination of nanoindentation test and shearing test, which can provide good guidelines for other smaller microbumps. The strain rate sensitivity exponent of the one-grain Sn microbumps is consistent with the Pb-free bulk solder. This implies that the one-grain Sn microbump has a comparable flow stress to Sn37Pb solder, which is beneficial for Pb-free replacement in higher density microelectronic packaging.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61306133). The authors would like to thank the technical support from the State Key Laboratory of Materials Processing and Die and Mould Technology in Huazhong University of Science Technology (HUST). The authors also appreciate the Center for Nanoscale Characterization and Devices, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics (WNLO) and the Analytical and Testing Center in HUST for the analytical and testing services.

Citation

He, M., Wang, B., Xia, W., Chen, S. and Zhu, J. (2017), "Research on microstructure and mechanical behaviour of smaller microbumps for high density solder interconnects", Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 156-163. https://doi.org/10.1108/SSMT-04-2016-0009

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited