Reliability performance of tin–bismuth–silver (Sn57.6Bi0.4Ag) solder joints with different content of carbon nano-tubes (CNTs) or nickel (Ni)-modified CNTs



In this study, the reliability performance of Sn57.6Bi0.4Ag solder joints containing different amounts (wt%) of CNTs and Ni-coated CNTs (Ni–CNTs) has been investigated. Thermal shock testing was used, as a means of harsh environmental stressing. The theory of the reinforcing effects for these two dopants was discussed. The difference of the dopant redistributing process during reflow soldering was also analysed. The formation mechanisms of cracks in the doped solder joints were elucidated through morphological analyses. Ball shear testing results were reported to substantiate the mechanical strength improvements of such joints. The characteristics of the fracture surfaces were analysed to clarify and correlate the changes in the related performance. Sn57.6Bi0.4Ag solder joints containing 0.03 wt% Ni–CNTs have been shown to offer the optimal reliability performance, as evidenced by its highest resistance to thermal shock. Ni coated ones showed a positive effect on the distribution of CNTs. However, solder joints containing excessive dopants of > 0.05 wt% yielded certain undesirable defects in the thermal shock testing, as evidenced by its deterioration in mechanical properties. The relative significance of such defects, e.g. aggregation of CNTs, formation of loose CNT-alloy structural phases and rapid propagation of cracks, varied considerably depending of the type and amount of dopants.



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China/Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (NSFC/RGC), Ref. No. 9054008/ N_CityU101/12, and Huayu Sun’s Postgraduate Studentship from City University of Hong Kong. Finally, the indispensable support of the Centre for Electronic Packaging and Assemblies, Failure Analysis and Reliability Engineering (EPA Centre) of City University of Hong Kong is highly appreciated for most of the experimental work in this work.


  1. 1.
    H.Y. Sun, Q.Q. Li, Y.C. Chan, J. Mater. Sci.: Mater. Electron. 25(10), 4380 (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    X. Zhao, M. SaKa, M. Muraoka, M. Yamashita, H. Hokazono, J. Electron. Mater. 43(11), 4179 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    P. Singh, P. Viswanadham, Failure Modes and Mechanisms in Electronic Packages (Springer, Boston, 2012), pp. 253–256Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    K. Subramanian, Lead-Free Solders: Materials Reliability for Electronics (Wiley, Hoboken, 2012), pp. 156–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    L. Yang, W. Zhou, Y. Liang, W. Cui, P. Wu, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 642, 7 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    D. Ma, P. Wu, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 651, 499 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    S. Hong, S. Myung, Nat. Nanotechnol. 2(4), 207 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    E. Pop, D. Mann, Q. Wang, K. Goodson, H.J. Dai, Nano Lett. 6(1), 96 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    S.C. Tjong, Carbon Nanotube Reinforced Composites: Metal and Ceramic Matrices (Wiley, Weinheim, 2009), pp. 95–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Y.D. Han, H.Y. Jing, S.M.L. Nai, L.Y. Xu, C.M. Tan, J. Wei, Intermetallics 31, 72 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    S. Suarez, F. Lasserre, F. Soldera, R. Pippan, F. Mucklich, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 626, 122 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    H.Y. Sun, Y.C. Chan, F. Wu, J. Mater. Sci.: Mater. Electron. 26(7), 5318 (2015)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Y.D. Han, S.M.L. Mai, H.Y. Jing, L.Y. Xu, C.M. Tan, J. Wei, J. Mater. Sci.: Mater. Electron. 22(3), 315 (2011)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    L. Yang, W. Zhou, W. Cui, P. Wu, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 642, 7 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    H. Sun, Y.C. Chan, F. Wu, Mater. Sci. Eng. A 656, 249 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    T. Siewert, S. Liu, D. Smith, J. Madeni, in “Properties of Lead-Free Solders”, Database for Solder Properties with Emphasis on New Lead-Free Solders. National Institute of Standards and Technology & Colorado School of Mines, Golden, 2002Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    H. Jiang, B. Liu, Y. Huang, K.C. Hwang, J. Eng. Mater. Technol. 126, 265 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    S.H. Park, H.S. Kim, Thin Solid Films 550, 575 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    R. Peter, King, Introduction to Practical Fluid Flow (Elsevier Science, Burlington, 2002), pp. p55-66Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    K. Kumar, V. Kripesh, L. Shen, A. Tay, Thin Solid Films 504, 371 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    S. Xu, Y.C. Chan, K. Zhang, K.C. Yung, J. Alloys Compd. 595, 92 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    H. Sun, X. Hu, Y.C. Chan, F. Wu, Effect of nickel-coating modified CNTs on the dopant dispersion and performance of BGA solder joints. In Proceeding of 2017 IEEE 67th Electronic Components and Technology Conference, Lake Buena Vista, pp. 1981–1986Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.EPA Centre, Department of Electronic EngineeringCity University of Hong KongKowloonChina
  2. 2.School of Material Science and EngineeringHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations