Gold Embrittlement In Lead-Free SolderAuthors: Craig Hillman, Ph.D., Nathan Blattau, Joelle Arnold, Thomas Johnston, and Stephanie Gulbrandsen; Julie Silk; and Alex Chiu
Company: DfR Solutions and Agilent Technologies
Date Published: 10/13/2013 Conference: SMTA International
Samples were aged for up to 1000 hours and then subjected to a range of environmental stresses, including thermal cycling, and both low and high speed shear testing. Results from thermal cycling indicated an elevated risk of early life failures in SnPb solder joints once gold weight percentage exceeds four percent, which is in line with the results from previous studies. SAC solder showed no indication of early life failures during temperature cycling, yet showed progressive degradation with increasing Au content.
The results from low and high speed shear testing seem to suggest that SAC305 solder is more capable of maintaining mechanical properties with increasing gold content. This improvement in gold embrittlement may be partially explained by the additional tin content. Fractography was performed to confirm transitions from ductile to brittle behavior. Metallographic inspections and x-ray mapping were performed to confirm calculated gold content and assess the influence of intermetallic morphology and location on mechanical performance.
SAC solder, gold embrittlement, high speed shear testing, thermal cycling, intermetallic
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