Microstructural Evolution of SAC305 Solder Joints in Wafer Level Chip-Scale Packaging (WLCSP) with Continuous and Interrupted Accelerated Thermal Cycling

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Journal of Electronic Materials

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Four high-strain design wafer level chip scale packages were given accelerated thermal cycling with a 10°C/min ramp rate and 10 min hold times between 0°C and 100°C to examine the effects of continuous and interrupted thermal cycling on the number of cycles to failure. The interruptions given two of the samples were the result of periodic examinations using electron backscattered pattern mapping, leading to room temperature aging of 30 days–2.5 years after increments of about 100 cycles at several stages of the cycling history. The continuous thermal cycling resulted in solder joints with a much larger degree of recrystallization, whereas the interrupted thermal cycling tests led to much less recrystallization, which was more localized near the package side, and the crack was more localized near the interface and had less branching. The failure mode for both conditions was still the same, with cracks nucleating along the high angle grain boundaries formed during recrystallization. In conditions where there were few recrystallized grains, recovery led to formation of subgrains that strengthened the solder, and the higher strength led to a larger driving force for crack growth through the solder, leading to failure after less than half of the cycles in the continuous accelerated thermal cycling condition. This work shows that there is a critical point where sufficient strain energy accumulation will trigger recrystallization, but this point depends on the rate of strain accumulation in each cycle and various recovery processes, which further depends on local crystal orientations, stress state evolution, and specific activated slip and twinning systems.



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