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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

I. Artaki, U. Ray, A.M. Jackson, H.M. Gordon and P.T. Vianco

Substitution of lead‐free solders in electronic assemblies requires changes in the conventional Sn:Pb finishes on substrates and component leads to prevent contamination…

Abstract

Substitution of lead‐free solders in electronic assemblies requires changes in the conventional Sn:Pb finishes on substrates and component leads to prevent contamination of the candidate solder. Options for solderability preservative coatings on the printed wiring board include organic (azole or rosin/resin based) films and tin‐based plated metallic coatings. This paper compares the solderability performance of electroless tin coatings versus organic azole films after exposure to a series of humidity and thermal cycling conditions. It is shown that the solderability of immersion tin is directly related to the tin oxide growth on the surface and is not affected by the formation of Sn‐Cu intermetallic phases as long as the intermetallic phase is protected by a surface Sn layer. For a nominal tin thickness of 60 ?inches, the typical thermal excursions associated with assembly were not sufficient to cause the intermetallic phase to consume the entire tin layer. Exposure to elevated temperatures, in the presence of humidity, promoted heavy tin oxide formation which led to solderability loss. In contrast, thin azole films were shown to be more robust to humidity exposure; however, upon heating in the presence of oxygen, they decomposed and led to severe solderability degradation. Evaluations of lead‐free solder pastes for surface mount assembly applications indicated that immersion tin significantly improved the spreading of Sn:Ag and Sn:Bi alloys compared with azole surface finishes.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

I. Artaki, A.M. Jackson and P.T. Vianco

Fine pitch (0.4 mm) surface mount assembly studies were conducted with several lead‐free solder pastes formulated with both traditional RMA (∼6% residue level) and low…

Abstract

Fine pitch (0.4 mm) surface mount assembly studies were conducted with several lead‐free solder pastes formulated with both traditional RMA (∼6% residue level) and low residue (1%) flux vehicles. The lead‐free solder alloys evaluated included the two baseline eutectic binary alloys, Sn‐Bi and Sn‐Ag, and three new lead‐free solder compositions: (1)91.8Sn–4.8Bi–3.4Ag (wt%) developed at Sandia Laboratories, (2) 77.2Sn–20ln–2.8Ag (Indalloy 227) developed at Indium Corporation of America and (3) 96.2Sn–2.5Ag–0.8Cu–0.5Sb (Castin) provided by AIM, Inc. The basic physical properties pertinent to assembly performance (melting temperature and wetting behaviour) were determined for each of the new alloys. Assembly performance was assessed as a function of circuit board surface finishes, thermal reflow profiles and solder paste flux composition. The feasibility of 0.4 mm pitch assembly was established with each of the lead‐free solder alloys investigated. No issues particular to the combined use of low residue flux vehicles and lead‐free solder powders were identified. The circuit board laminates did not suffer any thermal degradation effects (reflow was performed in an inert atmosphere). All lead‐free solders, compared with the Sn‐Pb eutectic solder, exhibited reduced spreading on the circuit board lands after reflow. It was concluded that the performance of the new solder formulations is adequate for surface mount applications. Further differentiation among these solders will have to be based on their long‐term reliability performance. These studies are currently under way.

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Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

U. Ray and I. Artaki

Terpene based cleaning agents, such as Petroferm Inc.'s EC‐7,® are currently being used successfully for cleaning rosin based fluxes from a variety of electronics…

Abstract

Terpene based cleaning agents, such as Petroferm Inc.'s EC‐7,® are currently being used successfully for cleaning rosin based fluxes from a variety of electronics substrates. However, if rosin undergoes any thermal degradation during the various soldering operations, the effectiveness of the cleaning process becomes acutely dependent on the condition and control of the terpene bath. One of the problems associated with controlling the cleaning process is an ‘ageing’ effect of the cleaning solution as evidenced by a noticeable colour change, substantial increase in viscosity and decrease in cleaning effectiveness. There is, therefore, a critical need for accurately monitoring EC‐7 chemical composition during normal process use. FT‐IR was identified as a suitable analytical technique for convenient and accurate monitoring of the EC‐7 composition. The terpene and surfactant components of EC‐7 have characteristic fingerprints in the IR spectrum. Calibration curves were generated and used to determine the composition of ‘aged’ EC‐7 solutions. As rosin has its own unique IR absorption band, rosin contamination (bath loading) can also be easily determined. These studies demonstrated that the ageing process is governed by both the volatilisation and the oxidation of the terpene component in EC‐7, the relative rates being determined by the specific configuration of the cleaning equipment used.

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Circuit World, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

A. Hirt and I. Artaki

For many years the analysis of contaminant residues on PWB surfaces has been of major importance to the industry. While the identification of residues left on metallic…

Abstract

For many years the analysis of contaminant residues on PWB surfaces has been of major importance to the industry. While the identification of residues left on metallic surfaces has proven to be relatively straightforward, the analysis of organic contamination of similar composition to that of the underlying board surface has not been as successful. Through the use of modern XPS instrumentation, the non‐ionic component of water soluble flux has been identified and differentiated from the chemically similar FR‐4 and soldermask substrates. This paper presents the XPS results for a series of experiments aimed at determining the location and relative concentration of water soluble flux residues on standard surface insulation resistance (SIR) comb patterns. The data show that the water soluble flux residue is not present as a uniform coating on the board surface but appears in localised sites in high concentrations while being absent in other locations. Through more aggressive cleaning procedures the sites of high residue concentration can be significantly reduced.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1993

This report, presented as the keynote paper at Surface Mount International, is the culmination of joint efforts to assess the use of lead in electronics assembly. The…

Abstract

This report, presented as the keynote paper at Surface Mount International, is the culmination of joint efforts to assess the use of lead in electronics assembly. The study, which will be presented in two parts, involved the collaboration of the following participants: B. R. Allenby and J. P. Ciccarelli, AT&T, Basking Ridge, New Jersey; I. Artaki, J. R. Fisher and D. Schoenthaler, AT&T Bell Laboratories, ERC, Princeton, New Jersey; T. A. Carroll, Hughes, El Segundo, California; D. W. Dahringer, Y. Degani, R. S. Freund, T. E. Graedel, A. M. Lyons and J. T. Plewes, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey; C. Gherman and H. Solomon, GE Aerospace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; C. Melton, Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, Illinois; G. C. Munie, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Indian Hill, Naperville, Illinois; and N. Socolowski, Alpha Metals, Jersey City, New Jersey.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

This report, presented as the keynote paper at Surface Mount International, is the culmination of joint efforts to assess the use of lead in electronics assembly. The…

Abstract

This report, presented as the keynote paper at Surface Mount International, is the culmination of joint efforts to assess the use of lead in electronics assembly. The study, which is presented in two parts, involved the collaboration of the following participants: B. R. Allenby and J. P. Ciccarelli, AT&T, Basking Ridge, New Jersey; I. Artaki, J. R. Fisher and D. Schoenthaler, AT&T Bell Laboratories, ERC, Princeton, New Jersey; T. A. Carroll, Hughes, El Segundo, California; D. W. Dahringer, Y. Degani, R. S. Freund, T. E. Graedel, A. M. Lyons and J. T. Plewes, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey; C. Gherman and H. Solomon, GE Aerospace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; C. Melton, Motorola Inc., Schaumburg, Illinois; G. C. Munie, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Indian Hill, Naperville, Illinois; and N. Socolowski, Alpha Metals, Jersey City, New Jersey. Part 1 was published in the previous issue of Circuit World, Vol. 19, No. 2.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

C.C. Tu and M.E. Natishan

A study was performed to develop a different experimental methodology to assess wettabilities of solders on various printed wiring board (PWB) finishes, based on a…

Abstract

A study was performed to develop a different experimental methodology to assess wettabilities of solders on various printed wiring board (PWB) finishes, based on a modified spreading test in which solder pastes were heated following temperature reflow profiles representative of those used in surface mount technology (SMT) instead of using a fixed rate temperature ramp. Three solder alloys (Sn63‐Pb37, Sn96.5‐Ag3.5, and CASTINTM: Sn96.2‐Ag2.5‐Cu0.8‐Sb0.5), two fluxes (rosin, mildly activated, RMA, and no‐clean, NC), and seven PWB finishes (Pd, Au/Ni, Ni, Ag, Sn, and organic solderability preservatives: OSP), and bare copper were involved in the study. Better wettabilities were observed in the current study than the results reported in the literature for conventional tests on the same combination of solder alloy, flux, and substrate. The different results in measurement of wettabilities obtained in the current study were attributed to the more adequate heating process allowing flux activation, which reduced reoxidation of solder powders and substrates during the reflow process and thus improved wettabilities of solders. Compared to the results obtained from the popular wetting balance test, the current study demonstrated a more realistic simulation of, and approach to, assessing the wettability of solder for SMT.

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1993

I. Artaki, U. Ray, H.M. Gordon and R.L. Opila

The emergence of new interconnection technologies involving double‐sided surface mounted components has put stronger restrictions on the method of preserving the…

Abstract

The emergence of new interconnection technologies involving double‐sided surface mounted components has put stronger restrictions on the method of preserving the solderable finish on printed circuit (PC) boards. The popular Sn/Pb coatings have come under strong scrutiny due to environmental hazards of lead and also because they do not provide flat, planar surfaces for SM assembly. Organic solderability preservative coatings (OSP) are emerging as strong contenders for replacing Sn/Pb surface finishes. Benzotriazole based organic coatings have been successfully used in the past by several electronics manufacturers. However, assembly technologies involving multiple thermal operations have necessitated a fundamental understanding of the thermal stabilities and the mechanism of corrosion protection provided by the OSPs. This paper reports the results of an investigation of the thermal stabilities of two organic corrosion protection coatings. Although both are organic azole based, they operate in two distinct regimes: one forming thin films (∼100 Å) and the other forming thick films (∼5000 Å). The mechanism of surface protection has been studied using direct surface analytical techniques such as X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), scanning transmission electron microscopy (SEM/TEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT‐IR). The solderability of the copper was measured by wetting balance techniques and correlated to the amount of copper oxidation. The results indicate that, although the thin films provide excellent protection for storage and handling operations, they decompose under heat, thereby causing oxidation of the copper. The thick films appear to withstand multiple thermal cycling. However, the underlying copper substrate can still be oxidised by oxygen diffusion through pores or cracks, or the film may undergo chemical changes that render the copper unsolderable.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

G.M. Wenger, D.A. Machusak and J.L. Parker

Organic solderability preservative (OSP) coatings are not new. They have been used successfully with aggressive water soluble flux for assembly of through‐hole only PWBs…

Abstract

Organic solderability preservative (OSP) coatings are not new. They have been used successfully with aggressive water soluble flux for assembly of through‐hole only PWBs. However, the multiple heating cycles required for mixed technology assembly and use of no‐clean low solids flux (LSF) for wave solder assembly have placed a greater demand on the solderability protection provided by OSPs. Wetting balance and float testing were used to evaluate numerous OSPs as well as the potential for these surface finishes to be used for ‘No‐Clean’ assembly. Although these laboratory evaluations revealed that OSPs are not as robust as SnPb, they did indicate the assembly processes and materials which could work with OSPs. Additional simulated assembly trials with test vehicles confirmed that thick OSP pre‐flux coatings interfere with soldering and that the solderability of surfaces with thin OSPs degrades when heated in an air environment. Since none of the OSPs evaluated outperformed the imidazole currently in use at AT&T, a no‐clean LSF assembly production trial with a mixed technology telecommunication circuit pack was conducted to compare imidazole with hot air solder levelled surfaces. The production trial and laboratory evaluations resulted in the development of an application model. The elements of the application model are not complicated: (1) use thin OSPs, (2) avoid baking, (3) use as aggressive a flux as possible, (4) apply as much flux as possible, (5) apply the flux where you want solder to wet, and (6) use nitrogen inerted processes whenever possible. Combination of these elements has led to the successful implementation of OSPs for no‐clean assembly. Funding for this effort was obtained through the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) Printed Wiring Board Interconnect Program.

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1995

K. Akinade, R. Burgess, M. Campbell, S. Carver, L. Sanderson, R. Wade and C. Melton

The increased interest in the electronics industry to search for alternatives to lead‐containing solders is evidenced by the number of recently published articles on…

Abstract

The increased interest in the electronics industry to search for alternatives to lead‐containing solders is evidenced by the number of recently published articles on lead‐free solders in this journal and other journals. At the latest Surface Mount International conference, several papers were presented on lead‐free solder alloys, conductive adhesives and organic preservatives, all in search of replacements for lead‐containing finishes. The efforts to find a replacement for tin/lead are in response to possible legislation banning lead or possible taxation on the use of lead. In an attempt to reduce the use of lead in this company's assembly operation, five lead‐free solder pastes and four corresponding flux vehicles (for A, B, C and E pastes) were evaluated. All of the flux vehicles passed the standard industry tests except for two flux vehicles (pastes B and C) that failed the copper mirror test. An assembly trial of the lead‐free pastes was carried out by building liquid crystal display panels with minimal process modification. Printability, process compatibility and solder joint reliability were assessed. This paper describes the preliminary results of the authors' investigation.

Details

Soldering & Surface Mount Technology, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-0911

1 – 10 of 31