Kinetics of interfacial reaction between eutectic Sn-Pb solder and Cu/Ni/Pd metallizations

G. Ghosh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The interfacial microstructure and the kinetics of interfacial reaction between the eutectic Sn-Pb solder and electroplated Ni/Pd on Cu substrate (Cu/Ni/NiPd/Ni/Pd) were studied both in the liquid- and solid-state of the solder. The liquid-state reaction was carried out at 200 °C, 225 °C, and 250 °C for 30 s, 60 s, 150 s, and 300 s at each temperature. The solid-state aging was carried out at 125 °C for up to 43 days. The interfacial microstructure was characterized by imaging and energy dispersive x-ray analysis in scanning electron microscope. Depending on the thickness of the Pd-layer, both PdSn4 and PdSn3 phases were observed near the solder-substrate interface. These results were correlated with the initial thickness of the Pd-layer and the diffusion path in the calculated Pd-Pb-Sn isothermal sections. For the aforementioned isothermal reactions, only one Ni-bearing intermetallic (Ni3Sn4) was observed at the solder-substrate interface. The presence of Ni3Sn4 intermetallic was consistent with the expected diffusion path based on the calculated Ni-Pb-Sn isothermal sections. Selective etching of solder revealed that PdSn4 and PdSn3 had a faceted rod morphology, and Ni3Sn4 had a faceted scallop morphology which gave rise to rugged Ni3Sn4-solder interface. Segregation of Pb on the facets of PdSn4 and PdSn3 was also observed. The growth kinetics of the Ni3Sn4 intermetallic layer at the solder-substrate interface was analyzed using an Arrhenius-type of equation. In the thickness regime of 0.16 to 1.2 μm, the growth kinetics yielded a time exponent n = 3.1, an apparent activation energy of 9260 J/mol both in the liquid- and solid-state of the solder, and a temperature dependent pre-exponential factor. The latter was attributed to the presence of one or more phases ahead of the growing layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1238-1250
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry

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