, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 1895-1902
Date: 20 May 2011

Correlation Between Sn Grain Orientation and Corrosion in Sn-Ag-Cu Solder Interconnects

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Abstract

The impact of a marine environment on Sn-Ag-Cu interconnect reliability is examined using salt spray exposure followed by thermal cycling. Sn-Ag-Cu solder alloy wafer-level packages, with and without pretreatment with 5% NaCl salt spray, were thermally cycled to failure. The prior salt spray reduced the characteristic lifetime of the Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints by over 43%. Although Sn-based materials show strong resistance to corrosion, the nature of localized corroded areas at critical locations in the solder joint caused significant degradation in the Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints. An important link between the corrosion path and Sn grain orientation was observed using orientation imaging microscopy (OIM). A strong correlation between the corrosion path and grain orientation was identified, indicating that the corrosion attack preferentially followed the basal plane of the Sn lattice.