Currently, intermetallics (IMCs) in the solder joint are getting much attention due to their higher volume fraction in the smaller thickness interconnects. They possess different mechanical properties compared to bulk solder. Large volume fraction of IMCs may affect the mechanical behavior, thermomechanical and mechanical fatigue life and reliability of the solder interconnects due to very brittle nature compared to solder material. The question that this study is seeking to answer is how degrading IMCs are to the thermomechanical reliability of the microbumps used in three-dimensional (3D) integrated circuits (ICs) where the microsolder bumps have only a few microns of bond thicknesses. Several factors such as “squeezed out” solder geometry and IMC thickness are studied through a numerical experiment. Fatigue life is calculated using Coffin–Manson model. Results show that, though undesirable because of high likelihood of creating short circuits, squeezed out solder accumulates less inelastic strains under thermomechanical cyclic load and has higher fatigue life. The results show that with the increase of IMCs thickness in each model, the inelastic strains accumulation per cycle increases, thus decreasing the fatigue life. The drop in fatigue life tends to follow an exponential decay path. On the other hand, it was observed that plastic strain range per cycle tends to develop rapidly in Cu region with the increase in IMC thickness which calls for a consideration of Cu fatigue life more closely when the microbump contains a higher volume fraction of the IMCs. Overall, by analyzing the results, it is obvious that the presence of IMCs must be considered for microsolder bump with smaller bond thickness in fatigue life prediction model to generate more reasonable and correct results.

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