Comparative Study of ENIG and ENEPIG as Surface Finishes for a Sn-Ag-Cu Solder Joint
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Interfacial reactions and joint reliability of Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu solder with two different surface finishes, electroless nickel-immersion gold (ENIG) and electroless nickel-electroless palladium-immersion gold (ENEPIG), were evaluated during a reflow process. We first compared the interfacial reactions of the two solder joints and also successfully revealed a connection between the interfacial reaction behavior and mechanical reliability. The Sn-Ag-Cu/ENIG joint exhibited a higher intermetallic compound (IMC) growth rate and a higher consumption rate of the Ni(P) layer than the Sn-Ag-Cu/ENEPIG joint. The presence of the Pd layer in the ENEPIG suppressed the growth of the interfacial IMC layer and the consumption of the Ni(P) layer, resulting in the superior interfacial stability of the solder joint. The shear test results show that the ENIG joint fractured along the interface, exhibiting indications of brittle failure possibly due to the brittle IMC layer. In contrast, the failure of the ENEPIG joint only went through the bulk solder, supporting the idea that the interface is mechanically reliable. The results from this study confirm that the Sn-Ag-Cu/ENEPIG solder joint is mechanically robust and, thus, the combination is a viable option for a Pb-free package system.
KeywordsSn-Ag-Cu solder soldering intermetallic compounds (IMC) electronic packaging electroless nickel-immersion gold (ENIG) electroless nickel-electroless palladium-immersion gold (ENEPIG)
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