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Title: An investigation into nano-particulates reinforced SAC305-based composite solders under electro- and thermo-migration conditions
Authors: Chen, Guang
Keywords: Composite solders
Isothermal ageing
Electro-migration (EM)
Thermo-migration (TM)
Microstructural evolution
Mechanical properties
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Guang Chen
Abstract: With the rapid development in electronic packaging due to product miniaturisation, the size of solder joints is decreasing considerably, thus the failure of solder interconnects induced by electro-migration (EM) and thermo-migration (TM) became a reliability concern. The incorporation of foreign reinforcement can effectively improve properties of the solder alloys. However, this presents an imperative need for a further investigation to elaborate the underlying fundamentals associated with the reliability of reinforced solders. In this study, the Sn-Ag-Cu (SAC) based solder alloy powders as matrix were incorporated with Fullerene (FNS), TiC and Ni-coated graphene (NG) reinforcements to form composite solders through powder metallurgical method. These composite solders were then characterised in terms of their microstructure, physical property, solderability, followed by a systematic investigation of their performance under isothermal ageing, current stressing and large thermal gradient, respectively. The results showed that three types of reinforcements were successfully incorporated into the solder matrix; with all reinforcements added being embedded in the solder matrix or around the intermetallic compounds (IMC). The average loss of FNS and TiC particles in the solders was approximately 80% after the initial reflow, while this was only 40% for NG particles. It has been observed that β-Sn and Ag3Sn in the SAC solder alloys can be refined by adding appropriate amount of FNS and TiC, which is beneficial to the wettability with a reduced coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) with the minimal influence on the melting point and electrical resistivity of solder alloys. For the SAC alloys without reinforcements, obvious extrusion of interfacial IMC at the anode was present after 360 hours of current (1.5×104 A/cm2) stressing, while the changes of surface profiles of all reinforced solders were unnoticeable. Under the current stressing regimes, a continuous increase of interfacial IMCs at the anode of the original SAC alloys was observed, but decreased at the cathode with stressing time. For the composite solders, both anode and cathode showed a continuous growth of interfacial IMCs; the growth rates of IMCs at the anode were greater than that at cathode. In addition, NG and TiC were found to be most effective to retard the growth of Cu3Sn IMC under current stressing. A gradient in hardness across the stressed SAC joints was present, where it was harder at anode. However, no such obvious gradient was found in SAC/FNS and SAC/NG solder joints. FNS and NG were proven to be beneficial to prolong the service life of solder joints up to approximately 7.6% and 10.4% improvements, respectively. Thermal stressing made the interfacial IMC in the original SAC joints to grow at the cold end considerably; causing serious damage at the hot end after 600 hours under temperature gradient of 1240K/cm stressing; a large number of IMCs, cracks and voids appeared in the SAC solder joints. However, a uniform increase of IMCs at both sides in the composite solders was observed without apparent damages at the interfaces under the same thermal stressing conditions, indicating an effective reduction of the elemental migration in the reinforced solders. Although there were also some voids and IMCs formed in the composite solder joints after a long-term thermal stressing, the integrity of the composite solder joints was enhanced compared with the SAC alloys. During thermal stressing, the dissolution rate of Cu atom into the SAC solder joints was estimated to be 3.1×10-6 g/h, while the values for SAC/FNS, SAC/NG and SAC/TiC were only 1.22×10-6 g/h, 1.09×10-6 g/h and 1.67×10-6 g/h, respectively.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/27576
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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