The transition from tin-lead to lead free soldering in the electronics manufacturing industry has been in progress for the past 10 years. In the interim period before lead free assemblies are uniformly accepted, mixed formulation solder joints are becoming commonplace in electronic assemblies. For example, area array components (BGA/CSP) are frequently available only with lead free Sn-Ag-Cu (SAC) solder balls. Such parts are often assembled to printed circuit boards using traditional 63Sn-37Pb solder paste. The resulting solder joints contain unusual quaternary alloys of Sn, Ag, Cu, and Pb. In addition, the alloy composition can vary across the solder joint based on the paste to ball solder volumes and the reflow profile utilized. The mechanical and physical properties of such Sn-Ag-Cu-Pb alloys have not been explored extensively in the literature. In addition, the reliability of mixed formulation solder joints is poorly understood. In this work, we have explored the physical properties and mechanical behavior of mixed formulation solder materials. Seven different mixture ratios of 63Sn-37Pb and SAC305 solder materials have been formed, which include five carefully controlled mixtures of the two solder alloys (by weight percentage) and the two extreme cases (pure Sn-Pb and pure SAC). For the various percentage mixtures, the melting point, pasty range, stress-strain curves, mechanical properties (modulus, strength), and creep curves have been characterized. The variations of the mechanical properties and creep rates with aging at room temperature (25 °C) and elevated temperature (100 °C) have also been measured. Finally, the microstructures realized with the various mixtures have been found and correlated to the mechanical measurements and microstructures found in actual mixed formulation BGA solder joints. The results for the mechanical and physical properties show a very complicated dependence on the mixture ratio.

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