Thermomechanical Stress and Strain in Solder Joints During Electromigration

Research paper by J.S. Zhang, H.J. Xi, Y.P. Wu, F.S. Wu

Indexed on: 05 Feb '09Published on: 05 Feb '09Published in: Journal of Electronic Materials


Thermomechanical stress and strain in the solder joints of a dummy area array package were studied as electromigration occurred. A current density of 0.4 × 104 A/cm2 was applied to this package, constructed with 9 × 9 solder joints in a daisy chain, to perform the electromigration test. After 37 h, the first joint on the path of the electron flow broke off at the cathode, and the first three solder joints all exhibited a typical accumulation of intermetallic compounds at the anode. Different solder joints exhibited dissimilar electromigration states, such as steady state and nonsteady state. Finite element analysis indicated that during steady-state electromigration, although the symmetrical structure produced uniform distributions of current density and Joule heating in all solder joints, the distribution of temperature was nonuniform. This was due to the imbalanced heat dissipation, which in turn affected the distribution of thermomechanical stress and strain in the solder joints. The maximum thermomechanical stress and strain, as well the highest temperature and current crowding, appeared in the Ni/Cu layer of each joint. The strain in the Ni/Cu layer was significant along the z-axis, but was constrained in the x–y plane. The thermomechanical stress and strain increased with advancing electromigration; thus, a potential delamination between the Ni/Cu layer and the printed circuit board could occur.