PurposeThis paper aims to study the effect of aging and cooling rate on the reliability of the solder joint using electroless nickel boron (EN-Boron) as a surface finish in the electronic packaging area.Design/methodology/approachEN-Boron was plated on a Cu substrate through electroless plating method. This process was followed by reflow soldering of Sn–3.0Ag–0.5Cu solder alloy on metallized Cu substrate to form a joining. Then, the specimens were cooled using different cooling mediums such as air (slow cooling) with 15.7 °C/min and water (fast cooling) with 110.5 °C/min. After that, the specimens were subjected to isothermal aging at 150°C for 0, 250 and 1,000 h. Finally, they went through a lap shear test following ASTM D1002. Optical microscope and scanning electron microscopy were used for intermetallic compound (IMC) characterization. The type of IMC formed was confirmed by field emission scanning electron microscope-energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (FESEM-EDX).FindingsThe results showed that the IMC type changed from the combination of Ni3Sn4 and (Ni, Cu)3Sn4 after reflow soldering into fully (Ni, Cu)3Sn4 when aged for 1,000 h. The formation of (Ni, Cu)3Sn4 and Cu3Sn underneath the IMC layer played a role in reducing the shear strength of joining. Overall, water cooling was reported to provide higher shear strength of solder joint compared to air cooling medium.Originality/valueThe shear strength when using EN-Boron as the surface finish is comparable to the surface finish conventionally used.
Soldering & Surface Mount Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 6, 2016
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