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Effect of PCB finish on the reliability and wettability of ball grid array packages

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2 Author(s)
Bradley, E. ; Land Mobile Prod. Sector, Adv. Manuf. Technol., Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA ; Banerji, K.

Organic protective coatings (OPC) and metallic plating chemistries have emerged as alternatives to traditional hot air solder leveling (HASL) to ensure the solderability of printed circuit boards (PCB). This study examined a number of commercially-available printed circuit board finishes to determine their intrinsic solderability and their effect on the solder joint reliability of ball grid array (BGA) packages. The PCB finishes included OPC (Entek Plus CU-106A and MEC-seal), immersion Au over electroless Ni (LeaRonal, MacDermid, Shipley, and Technique), electroless Pd over Ni, electroless Sn over Cu, immersion Bi over Cu, and HASL. Solderability tests were performed by reflowing 20-mil diameter solder spheres on variously aged test coupons and then quantitatively measuring the area and shape of the solder after cooling. The immersion Au finishes generally exhibited excellent wettability as a function of N2 reflow aging as compared with the OPCs and HASL. The Pd-Ni, Sn, and one of the Ni-Au finishes exhibited poor wetting when exposed to an 85°C/85% RH environment. Solder joint reliability was measured for a 41 I/O ceramic BGA using cyclic thermal shock (nominally -55-125°C) and three point bending. All finishes tested behaved similarly in thermal shock. The Au finishes generally performed worse in three-point bending as compared to OPC and HASL. The wetting and reliability results are correlated with the structure and composition of the finishes and the solder joints

Published in:

Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology, Part B: Advanced Packaging, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 2 )