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Numerical Investigation of Underfill Failure Due to Phase Change of Pb-Free Flip Chip Solders During Board-Level Reflow

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2 Author(s)
Soonwan Chung ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., State Univ. of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY ; Park, S.B.

In this paper, the effects of phase change of Pb-free flip chip solders during board-level interconnect reflow are investigated using numerical technique. Most of the current Pb-free solder candidates are based on Sn and their melting temperatures are in the range of 220 deg C-240 deg C. Thus, Pb-free flip chip solders melt again during subsequent board-level interconnect (BGA) reflow cycle. Since solder volume expands as much as 4% during the phase change from solid to liquid, the volumetric expansion of solder in a predefined volume by chip, substrate, and underfill creates serious reliability issues. One issue is the shorting between neighboring flip chip interconnects by the interjected solder through underfill crack or delaminated interfaces. The authors have observed the interjection of molten solder and the interfacial failure of underfill during solder reflow process. In this paper, a flip chip package is modeled to quantify the effect of the volumetric expansion of Pb-free solder. Three possible cases are investigated. One is without existence of micro crack and the other two are with the interfacial crack between chip and underfill and the crack through the underfill. The strain energy release rate around the crack tip calculated by the modified crack closure integral method is compared with interfacial fracture toughness. Parametric studies are carried out by changing material properties of underfill and interconnect pitch. Also, the effects of solder interconnect geometry and crack length are explored. For the case with interfacial crack, the configuration of a large bulge with small pitch is preferred for the board-level interconnect, whereas a large pitch is preferred for cracks in the mid plane of the underfill.

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Components and Packaging Technologies, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 3 )