Interfacial stability of eutectic SnPb solder and composite 60Pb40Sn solder on Cu/Ni(V)/Ti under-bump metallization

Albert T. Wu, F. Hua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Eutectic SnPb solder has been widely used in packaging for several decades. The stability of the interface between solder and under-bump metallization (UBM) is an important issue that has led to many studies. Even though Ni atoms dissolve much slower into SnPb solder than Cu, the intermetallic compound, Ni3Sn4, which forms when eutectic SnPb solder reacts with Ni(V)/Ti UBM, is not stable on Ti layer, creates V-rich zone, and causes spalling. To prevent the phenomenon, and the resulting reduction of mechanical reliability in solder joints, we propose the addition of a layer of Cu thin film to serve as a sacrificial layer. Both eutectic SnPb solder and composite solder (high-Pb solder with eutectic SnPb solder) were studied in severe reflow conditions to simulate the worst case of die attach and later reflow process. Cu film first was consumed completely to form a compound. Due to lower interfacial energy between Cu6Sn5 and Ni(V), the interface was stable and no spalling occurred. However, the same thickness of Cu was insufficient to prevent Ni from diffusing into solder or compound. Not only diffusion of Ni atoms was observed; Sn atoms also diffused into the Ni(V) layer. The Sn-Ni reaction caused the interface between the compound and Ni(V) to retreat into the Ni(V) layer. The compound was not stable at the interface, and spalling could be seen. Due to the interdiffusion of Ni and Sn, many Kirkendall voids were also observed at both side of the interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-741
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


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