Influence of interfacial intermetallic compound on fracture behavior of solder joints

Hwa Teng Lee, Ming Hung Chen, Huei Mei Jao, Tain Long Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the solder joints of an Sn-Ag lead-free solder system with pure copper wires. The study focuses upon the interrelationships, which exist between the adhesive strength of the joint, its shear strength, the formation of interfacial intermetallic compounds (IMC) and the fractographic morphology. Additionally, the paper determines how these characteristics, and the relationships between them, are influenced by the storage duration and the storage temperature. Experimental results show that both the adhesive strength and the shear strength of the solder joints decrease significantly following short-term thermal storage. As the storage time is increased, it is noted that both the thickness and the roughness of the interfacial IMC layers increase. Regarding the fracture of the solder joints, fractographic observation reveals that fracture morphology under adhesive loading are similar to those observed under shear loading conditions. In the as-soldered condition, the fracture surface appears to be flat, and some broken Cu6Sn5 and residual solder pieces are evident. When the total thickness of the IMC layer lies within the range 1-10 μm, it is observed that the fracture morphology gradually becomes a dimple-like structure. This phenomenon may be attributed to the residual stresses caused by phase transformation, and by the increasing roughness of the IMC layers which causes an increase in the stress concentration within the Cu6Sn5 layer, and which ultimately results in fracturing of this layer. When the total thickness of the interfacial IMC layers exceeds 10 μm, the roughness of the IMC layers and the residual stress between them and the solder both continue to increase. Eventually this results in a fracture being initiated and propagated within the Cu6Sn 5 layer. Fractographic observation shows the fracture to have a cleavage-like morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-141
Number of pages8
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering: A
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Oct 15

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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