Critical studies to improve service reliability of Sn–Ag–Cu solder joints by thermal treatments

  • Stephanie Bergman
  • K. N. Subramanian


Lead-free electronic packages intended for use in applications such as aerospace, military, and other highly demanding service conditions, necessitate exceptional mechanical reliability of lead-free electronic solder joints under realistic service conditions. Most current design strategies employed for improving the reliability of lead-free electronic solder joints are aimed at developing suitable alloying additions and reinforcements to the solder itself. At present there exists no suitable methodology to minimize the effects of service conditions while the solder joint is in service. Since thermomechanical fatigue reliability of electronic solder joints is closely related to the crack nucleation that occurs during very early stages of repeated thermal excursions, this study is based on subjecting solder joints to a limited number of thermal shock (TS) cycles in a chosen temperature regime to nucleate cracks, then evaluating their effectiveness in improving reliability when the solder joints are subjected to additional TS cycles in a different temperature regime. This study is a preliminary investigation, aimed at developing suitable methodology to minimize the effects of damage to lead-free solder joint specimens subjected to repeated thermal excursions during service, by imposing appropriate thermal treatments. These thermal treatments can be automatically implemented at programmed intervals during the service life of the electronic packages. Methods employed in these studies may also be useful to enhance long-term service reliability and to obtain a conservative estimate of long-term service reliability.


Solder Joint Temperature Regime Thermal Shock Crack Nucleation Service Reliability 
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The authors would like to thank D. Choudhuri, J. G. Lee, F. Guo, H. Rhee, & B. Li, for their previous studies which have provided the background essential for the current study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials ScienceMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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