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Spalling of intermetallic compounds during the reaction between lead-free solders and electroless Ni-P metallization

  • Y.C. Sohn (a1), Jin Yu (a1), S.K. Kang (a2), D.Y. Shih (a2) and T.Y. Lee (a3)...


Intermetallic compound (IMC) spalling from electroless Ni-P film was investigated with lead-free solders in terms of solder-deposition methods (electroplating, solder paste, and thin foil), P content in the Ni-P film (4.6, 9, and 13 wt% P), and solder thickness (120 versus .200 μm). The reaction of Ni-P with Sn3.5Ag paste easily led to IMC spalling after 2-min reflow at 250 °C while IMCs adhered to the Ni-P layer after 10-min reflow with electroplated Sn or Sn3.5Ag. It has been shown that not only the solder composition but also the deposition method is important for IMC spalling from the Ni-P layer. The spalling increased with P content as well as with solder volume. Ni3Sn4 intermetallics formed as a needle-shaped morphology at an early stage and changed into a chunk-shape. Needle-shaped compounds exhibited a higher propensity for spalling than chunk-shaped compounds because many channels among the needle-shaped IMCs facilitated Sn penetration. A reaction between the penetrated Sn and the Ni3P layer formed a Ni3SnP layer and Ni3Sn4 IMCs spalled off the Ni3SnP surface. Dewetting of solder from the Ni3SnP layer, however, did not occur even after spalling of most IMCs.


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