Effects of Sn grain structure on the electromigration of Sn−Ag solder joints


In this article, we investigated the effect of Sn grain structure on the electromigration (EM) reliability of Sn–2.5Ag (wt%) solder joints used in flip-chip packages. The electron backscattering diffraction technique was applied to characterize the Sn grain size and orientation of the solder joints. Failure analyses on Sn–2.5Ag solder joints after EM tests showed that the Sn grain structure was important in controlling the kinetics of the intermetallic compound growth and void formation under EM. Further microstructural analysis revealed that the grain sizes and orientations of the solder joints after multiple solder reflows were statistically different from those with a single solder reflow and resulted in an improved EM reliability. Thermal annealing effect was also investigated to separate the thermal effect from the EM-induced effect. Results obtained in this study demonstrated that EM reliability of Pb-free solder joints could be improved by optimization of the Sn grain structure.

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The authors thank Karen Robinson, Joe Garcia, and William Buniak of Dallas Flip Chip Assembly, Texas Instruments, Inc., for help with sample preparation. The work was funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation.

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Correspondence to Paul S. Ho.

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Wang, Y., Lu, K.H., Gupta, V. et al. Effects of Sn grain structure on the electromigration of Sn−Ag solder joints. Journal of Materials Research 27, 1131–1141 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1557/jmr.2012.10

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