Intermetallic formation induced substrate dissolution in electroless Ni(P)-solder interconnections
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2011
The effect of minor transition metal (TM) additives of Ni, Co, or Zn on the interfacial reactions of the solder joints between Sn–Ag–Cu (SAC) solder and the Cu/Ni(P)/Au substrate was investigated, especially subsequent to multi-reflowing. (Cu,Ni)6Sn5 formed at the interface of all the joints except that of SAC–Ni, of which the interfacial compound was (Ni,Cu)6Sn5. The interfacial compounds of the SAC–Co and SAC–Zn contained a small amount of alloying elements of less than 3 at.%. Two P-rich layers, Ni3P and Ni–Sn–P emerged at the interface of the SAC joints. Nanoindentation analysis indicates that the hardness and Young’s modulus of these two phases were slightly higher than those of the Ni(P) substrate, which were in turn much greater than those of the Cu–Ni–Sn compounds. Worthy of notice is that with TM additions, the Ni–Sn–P phase between Ni3P and interfacial compounds was absent even after 10 reflows. For the SAC–Co joints, the growth of Ni-containing intermetallic compounds within the solder gave rise to the excess Ni dissolution, which caused a discrete Ni3P layer and over-consumed Ni(P) substrate underneath the grooves in-between (Cu, Ni)6Sn5 scallop grains at the interface. This phenomenon is presented for the first time, and the mechanism is proposed in this study.
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