Journal of ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, @ 2015 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, DOI: 10.1007/s11664-015-4104-y

Evaluation of ENEPIG and Immersion Silver Surface Finishes Under Drop Loading

Adam Pearl, Michael Osterman & Michael Pecht
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States


The effect of printed circuit board surface finish on the drop loading reliability of ball grid array (BGA) solder interconnects has been examined. The finishes examined include electroless nickel/electroless palladium/immersion gold (ENEPIG) and immersion silver (ImAg). For the ENEPIG finish, the effect of the Pd plating layer thickness was evaluated by testing two different thicknesses: 0.05 μm and 0.15 μm. BGA components were assembled onto the boards using either eutectic Sn-Pb or Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu (SAC305) solder. Prior to testing, the assembled boards were aged at 100 degree C for 24 h or 500 h. The boards were then subjected to multiple 1500-g drop tests. Failure analysis indicated the primary failure site for the BGAs to be the solder balls at the board-side solder interface. Cratering of the board laminate under the solder attached pads was also observed. In all cases, isothermal aging reduced the number of drops to failure. The components soldered onto the boards with the 0.15-lm-Pd ENEPIG finish with the SAC305 solder had the highest characteristic life, at 234 drops to failure, compared with the other finish–solder combinations.

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