Journal of SMT Article


Authors: Robert Rowland
Company: RadiSys Corporation
Date Published: 10/1/2003   Volume: 16-4

Seika Machinery, Inc.

Abstract: The increased use of moisture sensitive components, such as thin fine-pitch devices and ball grid arrays, has increased the level of concern regarding component failures due to moisture absorption. When non-hermetic components are exposed to the elevated temperatures that occur during reflow soldering, moisture trapped inside of plastic surface mount devices will produce enough vapor pressure to damage or destroy the device.

Common failure modes include internal separation (delamination) of the plastic from the die or leadframe, wire bond damage, die damage, and internal cracks that do not extend to the surface of the component. In extreme cases, cracks will extend to the surface of the component, and in the most severe cases the component will bulge and pop (commonly referred to as the "popcorn" effect).

Prevention is the key to success when dealing with moisture absorption and moisture sensitive components. Industry standards describe a moisture sensitive component handling strategy that is being utilized by most component suppliers and end users.

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