Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 42, Issue 17, pp 7415–7422 | Cite as

Effect of current stressing on the reliability of 63Sn37Pb solder joints

  • B. Y. Wu
  • Y. C. Chan
  • H. W. Zhong
  • M. O. Alam


The effect of current stressing on the reliability of 63Sn37Pb solder joints with Cu pads was investigated at temperatures of −5 °C and 125 °C up to 600 h. The samples were stressed with 3 A current (6.0 × 102 A/cm2 in the solder joint with diameter of 800 μm and 1.7 × 104 A/cm2 in the Cu trace with cross section area of 35 × 500 μm). The temperatures of the samples and interfacial reaction within the solder joints were examined. The microstructural change of the solder joints aged at 125 °C without current flow was also evaluated for comparison. It was confirmed that the current flow could cause the temperature of solder joints to rise rapidly and remarkably due to accumulation of massive Joule heat generated by the Cu trace. The solder joints stressed at 125 °C with 3 A current had an extensive growth of Cu6Sn5 and Cu3Sn intermetallic compounds (IMC) at both top and bottom solder-to-pad interfaces. It was a direct result of accelerated aging rather than an electromigration or thermomigration effect in this experiment. The kinetic is believed to be bulk diffusion controlled solid-state reaction, irrespective of the electron flow direction. When stressed at −5 °C with 3 A current, no significant change in microstructure and composition of the solder joints had occurred due to a very low diffusivity of the atoms as most Joule heat was eliminated at low temperature. The IMC evolution of the solder joints aged at 125 °C exhibited a subparabolic growth behavior, which is presumed to be a combined mechanism of grain boundary diffusion and bulk diffusion. This is mainly ascribed to the retardant effect against the diffusion course by the sufficiently thick IMC layer that was initially formed during the reflow soldering.


Solder Joint Solder Ball Bulk Diffusion Joule Heat Organic Solderability Preservative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work described herein was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (Project No. N_CityU103/03). The authors wish to thank Prof. and Mrs. B. Ralph at Brunel, UK and Mr. C. W. Tan at Photonics Manufacturing Services (Shenzhen) in P.R. China.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Y. Wu
    • 1
  • Y. C. Chan
    • 1
  • H. W. Zhong
    • 1
  • M. O. Alam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electronic EngineeringCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong, P.R. China

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