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Reflow Soldering with

Tin Copper Eutectic


Lead-Free Alloy

Gerjan Diepstraten
Process Support Manager
Cobar Europe BV
Member of the Balver Zinn group

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Drivers for alternative for SAC
There are a number of drivers to have a LF non SAC
alloy.
SAC305
Technical:
• Copper leaching (rework issues)
• Reliabilty of SAC after ageing
• Hardness
• Voiding SN100C
• Appearance of shrinkage cavities

Financial:
• SAC305 contains 3% Ag

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SnCu vs SN100C
Tetsuro Nishimura found that additions of nickel and
germanium at low but quite specific levels
dramatically change the behavior and appearance of
SnCu.

Sn99,3Cu0,7 Sn99,3Cu0,7 + Ni-Ge


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Challenges for a SnCu paste
Design a flux system that enables:

• Good printing characteristics


• Thermal stable structure
• Tack force and time to prevent component movement
• Compatible with specific processes: vapour phase,
intrusive reflow
• Good cold and hot slump properties to avoid SMD
bridging
• Residues that are harmless and not sticky
• Long storage and stencil-life

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Paste - flux characteristics
XF3 flux is developed for reflow processes with
extended temperature profiles (lead-free)

- without nitrogen (cost issue)


- incorporates organic materials with more advanced
molecular structure
XF3 flux

Modified wood resin Synthetic polymer


4x larger molecular system
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Print performance of a paste
Print performance is determined by the rheological
network of a paste:
• Metal percentage and sphere
size
• Topography of the powder
• Resin system
• Solvents
• Property modified additives

Topography of SAC
- Attention:
This rheological network can be damaged by excessive
high transport or storage temperatures.
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Print conditions
Print conditions should by consitent to guarantee the
visco-elastic behavior of the paste.

Viscosity of the SN100C


paste is temperature depending
which limits the printing
temperature 22 - 28 °C

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Printer performance
• Maximum printing speed is process indicator for the
print performance of the paste
• Differences in performance due to topographic
characteristics of the alloys

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Thermal Stability XF3

High activity at
Low evaporation peak temperatures
rate results in
where oxidation
longer stencil- Activation starts
life becomes critical
at 150°C.
Remains during soak 9/32
Full Factorial Design
Design of Experiment to define solderability of SN100C
versus SAC305:

A. Solder paste – 4 levels:


SAC3-XF3
SAC4-XM5S
SAC305 – competitor
SN100C-XF3
B. Reflow profile – 2 levels:
3 minutes – linear profile
5 minutes – ramp soak spike profile
C. Reflow cycles – 2 levels:
1 x reflow
2 x reflow
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Solder paste

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Reflow profiles

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Spreading of solder paste

Dimensions aperture: 5 x 2.1 mm


4 x 9 apertures per board
Area aperture = 10.2 mm²

Measure width and length


to define solder spreading area.

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Solder spreading results

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Solder spreading microscope

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Solder spreading analysis

• XF3 solder paste flux results in better spreading on OSP.


• SN100C-XF3 shows a good spreading with similar profile
as SAC305.
• 2 reflow cycles did not influence the spreading on
small pads.
• 6% more spreading for the 5 minute RSS heating profile. 16/32
Parameters affecting spreading

DoE experiment:
R-Sq = 85.70%
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Intermetallic thickness
Solder (SN100C)

Intermetallic
layer
Copper

FR4
Printed Circuit Board

(Ni, Cu)3Sn4, (Cu,Ni)6Sn5, and (Cu, Ni)3Sn;


(Ni, Cu)3Sn4 was the most commonly encountered IMC.
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Intermetallic thickness

DoE experiment:
R-Sq = 78.24%
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IMC analysis
• No significant difference
between 3 and 5 minute
reflow profile (only 1%)
• One heating process
before reflow results in a 4%
thinner intermetallic layer
(OSP is more oxidized)

• The average IMC thickness of SN100C is more or less


equal to the SAC305. (Alloy with higher melting point wets
faster)
• Ag will accelerate the IMC growth during ageing.
• Ni will inhibit the IMC growth within the SnCu system.
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Spreading factor
D-H
S = ---------- x 100 %
D
(Klein Wassink – Soldering in
Electronics pg. 79)

S = Spread factor [%]


D = Diameter “visual circle” [mm]

SAC305 – spread factor 99.54%

SN100C – spread factor 99.45%


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Vapor phase soldering
SN100C-XF3
Dull surface, clear,
small amount of flux residues

SAC3-XF3
No significant difference
between the two alloys.

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Vapour phase - tombstoning
SN100C-XF3

No significant difference
in yield between SN100C
and SAC305 vapour
phase process.

Remarks to the vapour phase soldering:


Tombstoning was observed for both SAC305 and SN100C
Minimal small flux residues on the solder mask after
cleaning for both alloys
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VP – Solder joint appearance

SAC3-XF3 SN100C-XF3
Cleaning standard components:
Very good cleaning results : no residues sticking to the
solder mask or components
Paste is designed to be no-clean. Residues are harmless
(REL0) 24/32
Intrusive reflow-printing
Stencil thickness = 0.006” (150um)
Stencil aperture size = 0.080” (2.03mm)
Solder paste printed into through hole and over
solder mask

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Reflow – Pin in paste

SN100C-XF3
Top and bottom side show nice solder fillets acc. to IPC-610D
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Feasibility SN100C BGA’s
BGA Spheres Solder paste
1 SAC305 SAC305
2 SAC305 SN100C
3 SN100C SN100C

Voiding: 100% X-ray inspection sample size 4096

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Voiding SN100C vs SAC305

SAC3-XM5S
13% voids

Voiding: SAC3-XF3
- Solder paste flux 11% voids
- Oxidation of solder
powder

SN100C-XF3
4% voids
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Reliability solder joints

2512 Resistor

Thermo cycling:
-40 °C + 125 °C

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Boeing Recommendations

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Corrosion resistance
After Exposure to a Marine Environment:

SN100C SAC305

Silver increases susceptibility to corrosion


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Conclusions
• SN100C is not a drop in for SAC305.
• SN100C solder paste is a lead-free alternative for SAC305;
The question that has to be answered is whether that
extra cost of the SAC305 can be justified in terms of
the performance of the alloy.

• SN100C at least matches the performance and reliability


of the SAC alloys in most situations.

• While it is possible to reflow SAC alloy at temperatures as


low as 232°C most reflow is done at temperatures
more like 245-250°C at which temperature SN100C also
can be used. 32/32