Creep deformation behavior of Sn-3.5Ag solder/Cu couple at small length scales

M. Kerr, Nikhilesh Chawla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


In order to adequately characterize the behavior of solder balls in electronic devices, the mechanical behavior of solder joints needs to be studied at small length scales. The creep behavior of single solder ball Sn-Ag/Cu solder joints was studied in shear, at 25, 60, 95, and 130 °C, using a microforce testing system. A change in the creep stress exponent with increasing stress was observed and explained in terms of a threshold stress for bypass of Ag3Sn particles by dislocations. The stress exponent was also temperature dependent, exhibiting an increase in exponent of two from lower to higher temperature. The activation energy for creep was found to be temperature dependant, correlating with self-diffusion of pure Sn at high temperatures, and dislocation core diffusion of pure Sn at lower temperatures. Normalizing the creep rate for activation energy and the temperature-dependence of shear modulus allowed for unification of the creep data. Microstructure characterization, including preliminary TEM analysis, and fractographic analysis were conducted in order to fully describe the creep behavior of the material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4527-4535
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number15
StatePublished - Sep 6 2004


  • Creep
  • Deformation
  • Pb-free solder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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