Interface microstructure and mechanical fatigue behavior of Sn63Pb37 on electroplated Cu and Ni

Charles Zhang, Jian Ku Shang, Pilin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Electroplated Cu and Ni are commonly used as under bump metallurgy (UBM) in flip chip bumping due to their good wetting to common solders. The objective of this study was to understand interface microstructure and mechanical fatigue property of eutectic SnPb solder on electroplated Cu and Ni. The study focused on the intermetallic compound morphology, its distribution and the impact of such on interfacial fatigue life under controlled cyclic load. Flexural peel technique was used to study the fatigue crack propagation along the interface of solder and intermetallics. Interface microstructure, fatigue crack profile and crack surface were analyzed by both optical and scanning electron microscopies. The experimental results showed the solder joint fatigue life depends strongly on under bump metallurgy materials and the interfacial microstructure, especially the intermetallic phase and their distribution at the interfaces. For Cu, a continuous coarse cell-shape Cu6Sn5 intermetallic formed at the Cu/solder interface and the fatigue crack propagated along this interface under relatively small load. For Ni, it was clearly seen that Ni effectively limited the isotropic growth of intermetallics at the interface. Moreover, the needle-shape Ni3Sn4 intermetallic compound tends to grow into the bulk of solder which results in a zigzag intermetallics and solder interface. This zigzag interface is able to deflect the crack tip into solder and divert the crack propagation direction. Consequently, a relatively high resistance to fatigue crack was observed at this interface. The better mechanical fatigue life of Ni makes it a better choice for flip chip UBM selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-141
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings - Electronic Components and Technology Conference
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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