Thermal cycling aging effect on the shear strength, microstructure, IMC and initiation and propagation of surface mounted Sn-3.8Ag-0.7Cu and wave soldered Sn-3.5Ag ceramic chip components
Journal article, 2008
Temperature cycling of electronic components was carried out at two different temperature profiles, the first ranging between -55°C and 100°C (TC1) and the second between 0°C and 100°C (TC2). Totally, 7000 cycles were run at TC1 and 14500 cycles at TC2. The test board’s top-side components were surface mounted using Sn-3.8Ag-0.7Cu solder alloy, and bottom side SMD components were wave soldered with Sn-3.5Ag alloy. The solder joint degradation was investigated as a function of cycle number by means of shear strength measurements and cross-sectioning. The shear strength drop was correlated to both crack initiation time and propagation rate, and Microstructural changes. The effect of manufacturing process (reflow versus wave soldering) and component size (0805 versus 0603 components) on the shear strength were also investigated.
For both reflow and wave soldered components, the harsher the test environment the faster and largest the decrease in shear strength. The shear force is higher for the 0805 components compared to the 0603. The effect of component size on the residual shear strength is higher for the testing condition TC1. TC1 also seems to have a higher effect on the residual shear strength compared to TC2. The main difference between wave soldered and reflow soldered components is that the shear strength is in average higher for the wave soldered components compared to the reflow soldered. For the reflow soldered components using SAC, the microstructure coarsens, especially the Ag3Sn intermetallic particles. Furthermore, this alloy shows an increase of the IMC layer (Cu-Ni-Sn) thickness, and the IMC layer growth is controlled by a diffusion mechanism. The IMC growth coefficient is for the SAC system tested at TC1 0.0231 μm/hr1/2 (0.00053μm/hr) and for TC2 0.0054 μm/hr1/2 (2.9*10-5μm/hr). The microstructural changes during thermal cycling are a result of both static and strain-enhanced aging. For the wave soldered components the microstructure also became coarser, however, the IMC layer (Ni3Sn4) thickness did not change.
The IMC layer growth does not affect the shear strength for the test conditions applied in this work. The shear strength decrease observed in the present work as a result of thermal cycling is a result of both microstructural coarsening and crack propagation inside the solder joint.
Intermetallic compound (IMC)