Low-cycle fatigue tests of Sn-Ag-Cu (SAC) Pb-free solder joints under fixed displacement were performed to evaluate the influence of Ag content (0–3 wt.%) and solder-joint geometry (barrel and hourglass types) on solder-joint fatigue behavior and reliability. The solder joints were composed of fine particles of Ag3Sn and Cu6Sn5, which aggregated as an eutectic constituent at grain boundaries of the primary β-Sn phase and formed a dense network structure. A decrease in the Ag content resulted in coarsening of the β-Sn and eutectic phases, which, in turn, decreased the strength of the joint and caused earlier failure. Solder joints in the hourglass form exhibited better fatigue performance with longer life than barrel-type joints. The sharp contact angle formed between the solder and the Cu substrate by the barrel-type joints concentrated stress, which compromised fatigue reliability. The addition of Ag to the solder, however, enhanced fatigue performance because of strengthening caused by Ag3Sn formation. The cracks of the barrel-type SAC solder joints originated mostly at the contact corner and propagated along the interfacial layer between the interfacial intermetallic compound (IMC) and solder matrix. Hourglass-type solder joints, however, demonstrated both crack initiation and propagation in the solder matrix (solder mode). The addition of 1.5–2.0 wt.% Ag to SAC solder appears to enhance the fatigue performance of solder joints while maintaining sufficient strength.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering