Effects of Load and Thermal Conditions on Pb-Free Solder Joint Reliability
Format of Original
Journal of Electronic Materials
Original Item ID
Reliability of lead-free solder joints has been a hot topic widely debated in the electronic industry. Most published data indicate that a change to lead-free soldering has the potential benefit of more reliable solder joints than the current Sn-Pb eutectic solder joints. However, in reality many mechanical, metallurgical, thermal, and environmental factors affect the service reliability of solder joints. This paper tries to shed some light on the effects of mechanical loading and thermal conditions on solder joint reliability. These conditions are determined not only by external environments but also by the solder alloy itself and the joint geometry. Analyses with first principles are carried out on solder joints of both areal array and peripheral packages. Effects on fatigue life of solder joint geometry, thermal and mechanical characteristics of components and substrate materials, and application conditions are discussed. The analysis helps explain why lead-free solder joints may not be more reliable in certain application conditions than the current Sn-Pb eutectic solder joints.