Effect of additions of ZrO2 nano-particles on the microstructure and shear strength of Sn-Ag-Cu solder on Au/Ni metallized Cu pads

Asit Kumar Gain, Y. C. Chan, Kam Chuen Yung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Nano-sized, nonreacting, noncoarsening ZrO2particles reinforced Sn-3.0 wt%Ag-0.5 wt%Cu composite solders were prepared by mechanically dispersing ZrO2nano-particles into Sn-Ag-Cu solder. The interfacial morphology of unreinforced Sn-Ag-Cu solder and solder joints containing ZrO2nano-particles with Au/Ni metallized Cu pads on ball grid array (BGA) substrates and the distribution of reinforcing particles were characterized metallographically. At their interfaces, a Sn-Ni-Cu intermetallic compound (IMC) layer was found in both unreinforced Sn-Ag-Cu and Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints containing ZrO2nano-particles and the IMC layer thickness increased with the number of reflow cycles. In the solder ball region, AuSn4, Ag3Sn, Cu6Sn5IMC particles and ZrO2nano-particles were found to be uniformly distributed in the β-Sn matrix of Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints containing ZrO2nano-particles, which resulted in an increase in the shear strength, due to a second phase dispersion strengthening mechanism. The fracture surface of unreinforced Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints exhibited a brittle fracture mode with a smooth surface while Sn-Ag-Cu solder joints containing ZrO2nano-particles ductile failure characteristics with rough dimpled surfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2306-2313
Number of pages8
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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