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Modelling of the reliability of flip chip lead-free solder joints at high-temperature excursions

Modelling of the reliability of flip chip lead-free solder joints at high-temperature excursions

Amalu, Emeka Hyginus (2012) Modelling of the reliability of flip chip lead-free solder joints at high-temperature excursions. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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At high-temperature operations of electronic control devices, Tin-Silver-Copper (SnAgCu) alloy solder joints used to assemble the component of the devices are functioning at homologous temperature above 0.8. In such ambient temperatures, solder alloys have limited mechanical strength and will be sensitive to strain rate. The sensitivity of solder properties to creep/visco-plastic deformation increases the rate of accumulation of plastic damage in the alloy and decreases the number of cycles to failure (Nf) of the joints. Most untimely rupture of solder joints in high-temperature electronics (HTE) system usually culminates in colossal loss of resources and lives. Typical incidences are reported in recent automotive and aircraft crashes as well as the collapse of oil-well logging equipment. To increase the mean time to failure (MTTF) of solder joints in HTE, an in-depth understanding and accurate prediction of the response of solder joints to thermally induced plastic strain damage is crucial.

This study concerns the prediction of the reliability of lead-free solder joints in a flip chip (FC) model FC48D6.3C457 which is mounted on a substrate and the assembly subjected to high-temperature excursions. The research investigates the effect of the high-temperature operations on reliability of the joints. In addition, the investigation examines the impact of control factors (component stand-off height (CSH), inter-metallic compound (IMC) thickness, number of thermal cycle and solder volume) on Nf of the joints. A model developed in the course of this investigation was employed to create the assembly solder joints architecture. The development of the model and creation of the bump profile involve a combination of both analytical and construction methods. The assembled package on a printed circuit board (PCB) was subjected to accelerated temperature cycle (ATC) employing IEC standard 60749-25 in parts. The cycled temperature range is between -38 oC and 157 oC. Deformation behaviour of SnAgCu alloy solder in the joints is captured using Anand’s visco-plasticity model and the response of other materials in the assembly were simulated with appropriate model.

The results demonstrate that the reliability of solder joints operating at elevated temperatures is dependent on CSH, thickness of IMC and solder volume. It also shows that incorporating the IMC layer in the geometric models significantly improves the level of accuracy of fatigue life prediction to ± 22.5% (from the ± 25% which is currently generally accepted). The findings also illustrate that the magnitude of the predicted damage and fatigue life are functions of the number of ATC employed.

The extensive set of results from the modelling study has demonstrated the need for incorporating the IMC layer in the geometric model to ensure greater accuracy in the prediction of solder joint service life. The technique developed for incorporating the IMC layer will be of value to R&D engineers and scientists engaged in high-temperature applications in the automotive, aerospace and oil-well logging sectors. The results have been disseminated through peer reviewed journals and also presentations at international conferences.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
Uncontrolled Keywords: soldering, solder alloys, high-temperature electronics, HTE, predictions, Viscoplasticity, continuum mechanics,
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Engineering
School of Engineering > Department of Engineering Systems
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22

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