Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 699–705 | Cite as

Solder Selection for Reflowing Large Ceramic Substrates During PCB Assembly

Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Large substrates are prone to warpage issues during reflow due to Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) mismatch with Printed Circuit Board (PCB) material subsequently affecting solder joint quality and reliability in the form of cracks and interface dislocations. This paper describes best solder paste alloy for reflowing larger dimension ceramic substrates during PCB assembly process to improve solder joint quality by minimizing CTE differences. Experiments have been carried out using various commercially available solder alloys for reflowing larger substrates (80 mm × 80 mm). Solder joint quality was inspected using scanning electron microscope and X-ray for multiple reflow runs using different alloy combinations. Results showed Bismuth-based solder (Bi58/Sn42) to have minimal cracking and improved CTE over other solder alloys. Advantages include reduced costs and improved reliability for applicable devices.


Solder alloy material Solder joint quality and reliability Low-temperature reflow Large substrates CTE mismatch 



The authors would like to thank FormFactor Inc. management team in manufacturing and operations for providing us continuous support in equipment and material funding.


  1. 1.
    J. Lee, Root Cause Analysis of Printed Circuit Boards (SMTA Wisconsin Chapter, 2011)
  2. 2.
    J. Savic, W. Xie, N. Islam, P.G. Oh, R. Pundse, K.O. Kim, in 2013 SMTA International Conference Proceedings. pp. 1–2Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Z. Mei, H.A. Holder, H.A. Vander Plas, Low temperature solders. Hewlett Packard J Article 10, 2 (1996). Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. Hwang, Defects and failure phenomena of solder joints, in Expo SMT’88 Proceedings Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    C. Ryu, J. Hsu, L. Mendoza, A. Capuz, J. Caguiat, H. Sy, R. Lathrop, in 2008 10th Electronic Components Technology Conference (ECTC), pp. 1–2Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    P. Snugovsky, S. Bagheri, Z. Bagheri, M. Romansky (Celestica), The New Lead Free Assembly Rework Solution Using Low Melting Alloys. APEX, 2007.S24-01Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Quality and Reliability EngineeringFormFactor IncLivermoreUSA
  2. 2.Process EngineeringFormFactor IncLivermoreUSA

Personalised recommendations