Interfacial intermetallic compounds (IMCs) in solder joints are formed during soldering and continue to grow after assembly. Excessive interfacial IMC growth may impact the reliability of solder interconnections due to changes in material behavior. The impact of thermal aging on IMC growth can be determined by subjecting assemblies to elevated temperatures and determining the interfacial IMC growth. This paper discusses the interfacial IMCs formed in the solder-Cu interface for SAC305, SAC105, and Sn-0.7Cu-0.05Ni+Ge (SN100C) assemblies. Test assemblies were produced using tin-finished 2512 resistors soldered onto OSP-finished copper lands. The assemblies were subjected to aging conditions of 100°C for 24 h and 600 h; and 150°C for 24 h and the impact of high temperature aging on the thickness of IMCs formed at solder-Cu interface was studied. Samples stored at room temperature for 600 h were the reference specimen for the experiment. The IMC growth observed in the lead-free solders was compared with that in eutectic SnPb. Interfacial IMCs formed in room temperature conditioned specimens were scallop shaped and non-uniform. The IMC structure evolved with aging temperature and duration resulting in smoother and more uniform IMCs in 100°C/600 h aged samples. A comparison of IMC thickness in the solders at given aging conditions revealed that SAC305 exhibited highest IMC thickness, followed by SAC105 and SN100C. SnPb showed the least IMC thickness at all aging conditions except at 150°C for 24 h. At this condition, SnPb showed IMC thickness comparable to SAC305 solder and was higher than other solders.

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