Effects of intermetallic compound formation on reliability of Pb-free Sn-based solders for flip chip and three-dimensional interconnects



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The effects of intermetallic compound (IMC) formation on reliability of Pb-free Sn-based solders for flip chip and three-dimensional (3D) interconnects were studied. The dissertation is organized into four parts. In the first part, the effect of Sn grain orientation on electromigration (EM) reliability of Pb-free Sn-based flip chip solder joints was studied. The Sn grain microstructure in flip chip solder joints was characterized using the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique, and wa found to be closely related to the EM failure mechanims. The approach to grain structure optimization for improved EM reliability was also explored. In addition to the experimental work, a kinetic analysis was formulated to investigate the early EM degradation mechanism in Sn-based solder joints with Ni under-bump metallization (UMB). The aforementioned kinetic analysis, the intrinsic diffusion coefficients were not readily available in the literature. In the second part of the work, a Monte Carlo method known as simulated annealing was applied to estimate the unknown diffusion coefficients using a multi-parameter optimization method by fitting to experimental measurements. The intrinsic diffusion coefficients of Ni and Sn in Ni₃Sn₄ between 150 and 200°C, and those of Cu and Sn in Cu₃Sn and Cu₆Sn₅ between 120 and 200°C were estimatd. The activation energies for these diffusion coefficients were also determined. Together, this provides the diffusivity parameters to predict the intermetallic growth as a function of temperature. The third objective focused on the EM reliability of Sn-based microbump joints in 3D interconnects with through-silicon vias (TSVs). No EM-induced bump failure was observed, showing a robust EM reliability in microbumps. High temperature thermal annealing test was also performed on microbumps with three different metallizations in an effort to explore structural and process optimization. Finally, interfacial reaction induced stress in IMC microbumps was investigated. A numerial analysis was formulated to study the concurrent diffusion, phase transformation, and deformation in the process of IMC formation. Stress generation due to unbalanced diffusion rates and volumetric change upon phase transformation was considered. The coupled analysis was applied to investigate Ni₃Sn₄ growth in the Ni-Sn microbumping system. A simulation approach based on finite difference method with moving boundaries was employed to numerically solve stress evolution in Ni₃Sn₄. The equilibrium stress was also investigated using a modified model with a finite thickness of solder. Simulation predictions were found to be in good qualitative agreement with experimental observations.