Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 524–532 | Cite as

Failure Analysis on Blind Vias of PCB for Novel Mobile Phones

  • Li-Na Ji
  • Zhen-Guo Yang
  • Jian-Sheng Liu
Case History---Peer-Reviewed


Failure of blind via is one of the main causes of an open circuit in printed circuit boards (PCBs). By using macroscopic and microscopic testing methods and characterization techniques, the failure analysis of the vias on PCB for novel mobile phones has been systematically carried out. Metallographic inspection shows obvious cracking along the interface of different copper layers. Micrograph observation and chemical analysis on the grain boundary have definitely identified that inappropriate location of the vias concerned with circuit design and residue sulfur related to incomplete desmear process predominantly account for cracking of blind vias, and the occurrence of the cracking is caused by the formation of a brittle Cu x S layer. Moreover, the influence of warpage on the reliability of the via was noted. Based on these defaults, improvement countermeasures and suggestions are addressed in the paper and are of significant value for reference to the safe reliability and structural integrity of PCB products during manufacturing and services.


Blind via Cracking Sulfur embrittlement PCB Failure analysis 



The financial support by both the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (Project Number: B113) and China Circuit Technology (Shantou) Corporation (CCTC) (Grant SGH2021073) is acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Richard, S., Jamal, H., Prado, E.: High-density PWB microvia reliability for space application. Aerosp. Conf. 3–10 March, 2007, IEEE, pp. 1–8 (2007)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Martin, P.L.: Electronic Failure Analysis Handbook, p. 9. Sci. Press, Beijing (2005) (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nishiwaki, T., Mikado, Y., Kuroiwa, N.: Comparison of various micro via technology, pp. 233–237. ISAPM Proceedings (2000)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Leung, E.S.W., Yung, W.K.C., Lee, W.B.: A study of microvias produced by laser-assisted seeding mechanism in blind via hole plating of printed circuit board. Int. J. Adv. Manuf. Technol. 24(7–8), 74–484 (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang, T.H., Lai, Y.S.: Stress analysis for fracturing potential of blind via in a build-up substrate. Circ. World 32(2), 39–44 (2006)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liu, F., Lu, J., Sundaram, V., Sutter, D., White, G., Baldwin, D., Tummala, R.R.: Reliability assessment of microvias in HDI printed circuit boards, pp. 1159–1163. 51st ECTC Proceedings (2001)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ramakrishna, G., Liu, F., Sitaraman, S.K.: Role of dielectric material and geometry on the thermo-mechanical reliability of microvias, pp. 439–445. 52nd ECTC Proceedings (2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Xie, D., Wang, J., Yu, H., Lau, D., Shangguan, D.: Impact performance of microvia and buildup layer materials and its contribution to drop test failures, pp. 391–399. 57th ECTC Proceedings (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Marks, M.R.: Novel deprocessing technique for failure analysis of flip-chip integrated circuit packages. Pract. Fail. Anal. 1(6), 45–52 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ji, L.-N., Liu, J.-S., Yang, Z.-G.: Failure analysis of BGA solder joint in PCB for novel mobile phones. Heat Treat. Met. 32(suppl.), 373–376 (2007) (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Christie, D.: A review of the science and art of visual examination in failure analysis. J. Fail. Anal. Prevent. 6(3), 1547–7029 (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Butron-Guillen, M.P., Cabanas-Moreno, J.G., Weertman, J.R.: Scr. Metall. 24, 991 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Boulliard, J.C., Sotto, M.P.: Surf. Sci. 195, 255–269 (1988)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Korzhavyi, P.A., et al.: Theoretical investigation of sulfur solubility in pure copper and dilute copper-based alloys. Acta Mater. 47(5), 1417–1424 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kothari, R., Vook, R.W.: Enhanced sulfur segregation in plastically deformed OFHC Cu and the effect of surface segregated sulfur on electric contact resistance. IEEE TCPMT, Part A 17(1), 121–127 (1994)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials ScienceFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.China Circuit Technology (Shantou) Corporation (CCTC)GuangdongChina

Personalised recommendations