2004 Volume 45 Issue 3 Pages 727-733
The growth kinetics of intermetallic compound (IMC) layers formed between Sn-3Ag-6Bi-2In ball-grid-array (BGA) solder and Au/Ni/Cu substrate by solid-state isothermal aging were examined at temperatures between 343 and 443 K for 0 to 100 days. A quantitative analysis of the IMC layer thickness as a function of time and temperature was performed. The intermetallic layer exhibited a parabolic growth at the given temperature range. Because the values of the time exponent (n) are approximately 0.5, the layer growth of the IMC was primarily controlled by diffusion over the temperature range studied. The apparent activation energy value calculated for the Sn-Ag-Bi-In/Au/Ni/Cu BGA joint was 64.8 kJ/mol. Also, the reliability of the solder ball attachment was characterized by mechanical ball shear tests. The brittleness of the solder joints increased with increasing aging temperature and time, and the fracture occurred within the IMCs and Ni layer. The deterioration of the solder ball shear strength was found to be predominantly caused by the formation of the IMC layer.