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Finite element analysis of the effect of silver content for Sn–Ag–Cu alloy compositions on thermal cycling reliability of solder die attach

Finite element analysis of the effect of silver content for Sn–Ag–Cu alloy compositions on thermal cycling reliability of solder die attach

Otiaba, Kenny C., Bhatti, R.S., Ekere, N.N., Mallik, S. and Ekpu, M. (2012) Finite element analysis of the effect of silver content for Sn–Ag–Cu alloy compositions on thermal cycling reliability of solder die attach. Engineering Failure Analysis, 28. pp. 192-207. ISSN 1350-6307 (doi:10.1016/j.engfailanal.2012.10.008)

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Abstract

Thermal performance of a chip-scale packaged power device can be improved by attaching a heat spreader to the backside of the heat generating silicon die via solder thermal interface materials [STIMs]/solder die-attach. Driven by government legislation, electronics industry has advanced to lead (Pb)-free solders due to environmental and health concerns emanating from the use of Pb-based solders. Though solder compositions in the form of Sn–Ag–Cu (SAC) ternary system have been widely accepted and preferred by the electronic industry as replacements for the traditional Pb-based solder alloys, debate continues over the optimal silver content in the Sn–Ag–Cu (SAC) solder alloys. Apparently, the effect of silver (Ag) content on thermo-mechanical reliability of SAC alloy compositions as small area solder joints (flip chip solder bump or ball grid array (BGA)) has been extensively studied but not enough information exist on the effect of Ag percentage in SAC solder alloys when employed as large area solder joint (die-attach application). In this study, non-linear finite element method (FEM) is used for a comparative analysis of the effect of Ag content on the thermal fatigue performance of Sn–3Ag–0.5Cu (SAC305) and Sn–4Ag–0.5Cu (SAC405) when used in die-attach applications under three different thermal cyclic loading cases. The results show that Von-Mises stresses and strain energy in each of the two different SAC solder joints were strong function of the thermal cycle profiles, increasing in the order −55–80 °C < −55–125 °C < −65–150 °C. In addition, this study suggests that the range of stress was relatively greater for the SAC alloy with higher Ag content (SAC405) while the lower Ag content SAC solder (SAC305) experiences a comparatively larger accumulated plastic work under the same thermal cycling condition. Further failure analysis via visual inspection reveals that for all cases of thermal cyclic loading employed in this study, maximum values of strain energy were all located in the corner regions (critical regions) of the solder joints at the side next to the silicon die independent of the Ag content of the solder joints. This paper also highlights the concerns as regards the implementation of conventional thermal fatigue models for accurate life time prediction of large area solder joint.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Available online 7 November 2012.
Uncontrolled Keywords: fatigue failure, finite element analysis, life prediction, thermal fatigue
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Engineering
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:23
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/9360

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