Interfacial reaction issues for lead-free electronic solders

  • C. E. Ho
  • S. C. Yang
  • C. R. Kao


The interfacial reactions between Sn-based solders and two common substrate materials, Cu and Ni, are the focuses of this paper. The reactions between Sn-based solders and Cu have been studied for several decades, and currently there are still many un-resolved issues. The reactions between Sn-based solders and Ni are equally challenging. Recent studies further pointed out that Cu and Ni interacted strongly when they were both present in the same solder joint. While this cross-interaction introduces complications, it offers opportunities for designing better solder joints. In this study, the Ni effect on the reactions between solders and Cu is discussed first. The presence of Ni can in fact reduce the growth rate of Cu3Sn. Excessive Cu3Sn growth can lead to the formation of Kirkendall voids, which is a leading factor responsible for poor drop test performance. The Cu effect on the reactions between solders and Ni is then covered in detail. The knowledge gained from the Cu and Ni effects is applied to explain the recently discovered intermetallic massive spalling, a process that can severely weaken a solder joint. It is pointed out that the massive spalling was caused by the shifting of the equilibrium phase as more and more Cu was extracted out of the solder by the growing intermetallic. Lastly, the problems and opportunities brought on by the cross-interaction of Cu and Ni across a solder joint is presented.


Solder Joint Ball Grid Array Molten Solder Under Bump Metallurgy Kirkendall Void 
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 was supported by the National Science Council of R.O.C. through grants NSC-94-2216-E-008-001 and NSC-94-2214-E-008-005. The author (CRK) would like to thanks his students for their contributions to the study of soldering reactions (C. M. Liu, J. Y. Tsai, C. W. Chang, W. C. Luo, W. T. Chen, and L. C. Shiau).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials ScienceMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chemical & Materials EngineeringNational Central UniversityJhongli CityTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Materials Science & EngineeringNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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