Solder Joint Analysis

Analyzing the Microstructure of Solder

Solder joint analysis is an important factor in determining the reliability of electronic assemblies. Solder can contribute to thermal, mechanical and electrical variations in devices and assemblies. SEM Lab, Inc. has extensive experience in solder joint metallurgical, quality and reliability analysis.

Solder Joint Reliability Analysis

Microstructural Characterization and Evaluation


SEM Lab, Inc. does detailed root cause analysis of solder joint failures which includes gold embrittlement, tin whiskers, electromigration, corrosion, intermetallic compounds, and black-pad-syndrome.

 

Solder Composition Analysis

Percentage of Lead


The amount of lead (Pb) in solder joints can affect reliability. Lead-tin (Pb-Sn) surface finishes on electronics components should have a minimum of 3% Pb to avoid tin whiskers, but often lead-free solder is employed.  SEM Lab, Inc. uses SEM/EDS data from Sn-Pb standards to verify the solder composition.

 

 

Solder failure analysis

BGA failure due to organic particles on solder bumps. These were also found included in solder joints on finished assemblies.

Determination of termination composition on Multi-Layer Chip Capacitor (MLCC).

Determination of termination composition on Multi-Layer Chip Capacitor (MLCC).

This lead-free solder joint has uniform intermetallic layers at both the termination (Ni-barrier plating) and pad interface.

This lead-free solder joint has uniform intermetallic layers at both the termination (Ni-barrier plating) and pad interface.