Measurement of impact toughness of eutectic SnPb and SnAgCu solder joints in ball grid array by mini-impact tester


The most frequent cause of failure for wireless, handheld, and portable consumer electronic products is an accidental drop to the ground. The impact may cause interfacial fracture of ball-grid-array solder joints. Existing metrology, such as ball shear and ball pull tests, cannot characterize the impact-induced high speed fracture failure. In this study, a mini-impact tester was utilized to measure the impact toughness and to characterize the impact reliability of both eutectic SnPb and SnAgCu solder joints. The annealing effect at 150 °C on the impact toughness was investigated, and the fractured surfaces were examined. The impact toughness of SnAgCu solder joints with the plating of electroless Ni/immersion Au (ENIG) became worse after annealing, decreasing from 10 or 11 mJ to 7 mJ. On the other hand, an improvement of the impact toughness of eutectic SnPb solder joints with ENIG was recorded after annealing, increasing from 6 or 10 to 15 mJ. Annealing has softened the bulk SnPb solder so that more plastic deformation can occur to absorb the impact energy.

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This study was supported by cooperation between Texas Instruments, Inc. and University of California at Los Angeles, and by a UC-Discovery Grant (Project No. ELE 03-10185). Special thanks go to the paper reviewers for their kind, helpful comments.

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Correspondence to Kejun Zeng.

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Xu, Y., Ou, S., Tu, K. et al. Measurement of impact toughness of eutectic SnPb and SnAgCu solder joints in ball grid array by mini-impact tester. Journal of Materials Research 23, 1482–1487 (2008).

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