Electromigration effect on intermetallic growth and Young's modulus in SAC solder joint

Luhua Xu*, John H.L. Pang, Fei Ren, King-Ning Tu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Solid-state intermetallic compound (IMC) growth behavior plays an important role in solder joint reliability of electronic packaging assemblies. The directional impact of electromigration (EM) on the growth of interfacial IMCs in Ni/ SAC/Ni, Cu/SAC/Ni single BGA ball solder joint, and fine pitch ball-grid-array (FPBGA) at the anode and cathode sides is reported in this study. When the solder joint was subjected to a current density of 5,000 A/cm 2 at 125°C or 150°C, IMC layer growth on the anode interface was faster than that on the cathode interface, and both were faster than isothermal aging due to the Joule heating effect. The EM affects the IMC growth rate, as well as the composition and mechanical properties. The Young's modulus and hardness were measured by the nanoindentation continuous stiffness measurement (CSM) from planar IMC surfaces after EM exposure. Different values were observed at the anode and cathode. The energy-dispersive x-ray (EDX) line scan analysis was conducted at the interface from the cathode to anode to study the presence of species; Ni was found in the anode IMC at SAC/Cu in the Ni/SAC/Cu joint, but not detected when the current was reverse. Electron-probe microanalysis (EPMA) measurement on the Ni/SAC/Ni specimen also confirmed the polarized Ni and Cu distributions in cathode and anode IMCs, which were (Ni 0.57Cu 0.43) 3Sn 4 and (Cu 0.73Ni 0.27) 6Sn 5, respectively. Thus, the Young's moduli of the IMC are 141 and 175 GPa, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2116-2125
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Electromigration
  • Intermetallic compound
  • Lead-free SnAgCu solder
  • Nanoindentation

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