Spalling of Cu6Sn5 spheroids in the soldering reaction of eutectic SnPb on Cr/Cu/Au thin films

Ann A. Liu*, H. K. Kim, King-Ning Tu, Paul A. Totta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


The growth and morphology of intermetallic compounds between the solder and substrate play an important role in the solderability and reliability of electronic solder joints. Solder on thin films, as in chip joint, acts as an electrical and mechanical/physical interconnection between the chip and the substrate. We have studied the interfacial reactions between eutectic SnPb (63Sn37Pb, wt%) and Cr/Cu/Au thin films. Our results found here have been compared to the solder reaction on bulk Cu. The eutectic solder has 7° of wetting angle on Cr/Cu/Au thin films rather than 11° on Cu substrate. Sideband around the solder cap was found in both the thin film case and the Cu case. Spalling of Cu6Sn5 compound grains occurred in the thin-film case when the Cu film was consumed but not in the case of bulk Cu. We observed a shape change from hemispherical "scallops" to spheroids before spalling took place. The shape change is assisted by ripening a reaction among the scallops. We have calculated a critical size of the scallop, depending on the Cu film thickness, when the shape change or spalling starts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2774-2780
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1996

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