Optimising Solder Paste Volume for Low Temperature Reflow of BGA Packages

Published:

September 23, 2020

Author:

Keith Sweatman

Abstract:

The need to minimise thermal damage to components and laminates, to reduce warpage-induced defects to BGA packages, and to save energy, is driving the electronics industry towards lower process temperatures. For soldering processes the only way that temperatures can be substantially reduced is by using solders with lower melting points. Because of constraints of toxicity, cost and performance, the number of alloys that can be used for electronics assembly is limited and the best prospects appear to be those based around the eutectic in the Bi-Sn system, which has a melting point of about 139°C. Experience so far indicates that such Bi-Sn alloys do not have the mechanical properties and microstructural stability necessary to deliver the reliability required for the mounting of BGA packages. Options for improving mechanical properties with alloying additions that do not also push the process temperature back over 200°C are limited. An alternative approach that maintains a low process temperature is to form a hybrid joint with a conventional solder ball reflowed with a Bi-Sn alloy paste. During reflow there is mixing of the ball and paste alloys but it has been found that to achieve the best reliability a proportion of the ball alloy has to be retained in the joint, particular in the part of the joint that is subjected to maximum shear stress in service, which is usually the area near the component side. The challenge is then to find a reproducible method for controlling the fraction of the joint thickness that remains as the original solder ball alloy. Empirical evidence indicates that for a particular combination of ball and paste alloys and reflow temperature the extent to which the ball alloy is consumed by mixing with the paste alloy is dependent on the volume of paste deposited on the pad. If this promising method of achieving lower process temperatures is to be implemented in mass production without compromising reliability it would be necessary to have a method of ensuring the optimum proportion of ball alloy left in the joint after reflow can be consistently maintained. In this paper the author explains how the volume of low melting point alloy paste that delivers the optimum proportion of retained ball alloy for a particular reflow temperature can be determined by reference to the phase diagrams of the ball and paste alloys. The example presented is based on the equilibrium phase diagram of the binary Bi-Sn system but the method could be applied to any combination of ball and paste alloys for which at least a partial phase diagram is available or could be easily determined....

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Company Information:

Nihon Superior Co. Ltd

Production and distribution of metal jointing materials for electronics (solder, flux, brazing alloys, etc) Sales of nonferrous metal Export-import business

Osaka, Japan

Manufacturer of Assembly Material

  • Phone +81- (0) 6-6380-1121

Nihon Superior Co. Ltd website

Company Postings:

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