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The Influence of Sn Orientation on the Electromigration of Idealized Lead-free Interconnects


As conventional lead solders are being replaced by Pb-free solders in electronic devices, the reliability of solder joints in integrated circuits (ICs) has become a high concern. Due to the miniaturization of ICs and consequently solder joints, the current density through the solder interconnects has increased causing electrical damage known as electromigration. Electromigration, atomic and mass migration due to high electron currents, is one of the most urgent reliability issues delaying the implementation of Pb-free solder materials in electronic devices. The research on Pb-free solders has mainly focused on the qualitative understanding of failure by electromigration. There has been little progress however, on the quantitative analysis of electromigration because of the lack of available material parameters, such as the effective charge, (z*), the driving force for electromigration. The research herein uses idealized interconnects to measure the z* of electromigration of Cu in Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu (SAC305) alloy under different experimental conditions. Planar SAC 305 interconnects were sandwiched between two Cu pads and subject to uniaxial current. The crystallographic orientation of Sn in these samples were characterized with electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and wavelength dispersive spectroscopy (WDS) before and after electromigration testing. Results indicate that samples with the c-axis aligned perpendicular to current flow, polycrystalline, and those with a diffusion barrier on the cathode side all inhibit the growth of intermetallic compounds (IMC). The effective charge values of Cu in SAC 305 under the different conditions tested were quantified for the first time and included in this dissertation. The following research is expected to help verify and improve the electromigration model and identify the desirable conditions to inhibit damage by electromigration in Pb-free solder joints.

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