You are on page 1of 4

2D Modelling of Stresses in Solder Joint Connection

Jindrich Bulva, Ivan Szendiuch

Dept. of Microelectronics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication, Brno
University of Technology, Udolni 53, 602 00, Brno, Czech Republic
Phone: +420 541 146 158, Fax: +420 541 146 298,
This paper describes thermomechanical modelling of connection of two
different materials, which are often used in electronic devices organics
FR4 and two ceramics material Al
and AlN. There are investigated
combinations organic-organic, organic-ceramic, ceramic-ceramic, connected
with eutectic SnPb solder or lead free solder SnAgCu.
Keywords (12 points bold): Thermomechanical modelling, solder joint,
reliability, ANSYS, MSM

1 Introduction
Fast development of semiconductor chips and demand for improvement in assembly
technologies is closed generally to increased number of the soldered joints, which can have
different and variable shape and performance. Most failures, which occur in electronic
systems, are solder joint troubles caused by the thermal mismatch among different materials.
Reason is use of materials with different Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) that are
assembled together. During the manufacturing and use, the structure goes through various
temperature cycles. Such temperature variations cause thermal expansion, but the materials
cannot expand freely, because they are constrained by the packaged assembly. Therefore,
significant stresses are induced in solder joints. These stresses can be mathematically
modelled using ANSYS software, which is based on Finite Element Method (FEM). This
software allows relatively quick and cheap analyses of strains and stresses, which occur in a
device as a result of a temperature changes.
The aim of this paper is to describe new approach to investigation solder joint reliability
through computer, modelling. As today to reach low cost in production process is desirable,
the behaviour forecast by mathematical modelling is more and more useful. ANSYS software
is used for modelling influences of combination of materials are investigated and results from
several analyses are discussed.

2 Multisubstrate Model
Multisubstrate structure representing simple interconnection of two substrates with 25 solder
bonds was modelled. Contacting pads are not considered in those simple analyses.
2.1 Geometry of Structure
The modelled structure consists of two substrates, organic FR4 and ceramic one, Al
AlN. Fig. 1 shows the cross-section geometry of structure with net of elements. Left figure
represents ball solder joint with real shape. It is obvious, that balls are deformities during
reflow process. Right figure shows cross-section of two substrates connected with five solder
joints. All substrates have dimension 8x8mm. The organic substrate is 1mm thick and the
thickness of both ceramics substrates is 0.5mm.

Fig. 1. Geometry of modelling structure a) Solder bump b) Multisubstrate modul
2.2 Material Properties
The basic thermomechanical properties of using materials are listed in the Tab. 1 [1,2].
Element PLANE42 is used in the ANSYS program for meshing. PLANE42 is used for 2-D
modeling of solid structures. The element can be used either as a plane element (plane stress
or plane strain) or as an axisymmetric element. Four nodes having two degrees of freedom at
each node define the element: translations in the nodal x and y directions [4].
Tab. 1. Mechanical and thermal properties of using materials
Material FR4 Al
AlN SnPb SnAgCu
Density [kg/m
] 1500 3690 3260 8420 7250
Elastic modulus [GPa]
-70 C
20 C
140 C





Poissons ratio 0.28 0.21 0.24 0.40 0.34
CTE [ppm/K]
-55 C
22 C
100 C





2.3 Boundary Conditions
ANSYS software is used for investigation thermomechanical stress, which comes up due to
cooling from the solder melting temperature to the normal room temperature (20C). Melting
temperature for eutectic solder SnPb is 183C and melting temperature for lead-free solder
SnAgCu is 217C.
Bottom substrate is fixed in left bottom corner in X and Y direction and in right bottom corner
in Y direction to prevent rotation in space.

3 Results of Analyses
The study is focused to mathematical modelling of thermomechanical stress within structure
containing different materials. On the Fig. 2 is shown structure with one FR4 substrate and
one Al
substrate connected with eutectic solder SnPb. Colour scale below structure shows
numerical values of von Mises stress in terms of MPa. Deforming shape and edge of non-
deformed shape are shown there. It can be seen that cooling causes different curtail substrates
and stress is displacement to the alumina substrate and solder joint in the main. Maximal
stress is in the outside solder joints, especially their upper edges. These are areas, where
cracks can occur. The value of maximum stress in this area is approximately 305MPa. Areas
above three middle joints are strained heavily too.

Fig. 2. Stress within the structure FR4-SnPb-Al

Fig. 3 shows connection of two ceramics substrates AlN with SnAgCu solder. There it can be
seen, that problem is not connection of two different substrates but connection the same
materials with solder. Deformation is not so big such as first example, but maximum stress is
higher than the first. Highest stress occurs in top and bottom part of solder joints and its
maximum value is approximately 330MPa. This figure shows strict symmetric of stress
distribution within substrates.

Fig. 3. Stress within the structure AlN-SnAgCu-AlN
Tab. 2 shows results of maximum values of stress of all combinations using materials. It can
be seen, that the smallest stress have been occurred in the structure FR4-FR4. Lead free solder
SnAgCu achieves better results (58MPa) than SnPb solder (86MPa) in this case. Using
ceramics increase internal stress dramatically. If maximum value of stress in structure Al
will be compared, it can be seen, that the result is very similar for both solder
compound. Difference between SnAgCu solder (230MPa) and SnPb solder (232MPa) is
minimal. Sizable differences are for structures with AlN ceramic. The biggest difference
between using lead- free or lead-contained solder is for structure AlN-AlN, where we obtained
286MPa for eutectic solder SnPb and 329MPa for lead-free solder SnAgCu. In the Tab. 2 it
can be seen the influence of AlN ceramic too. Maximum stress occurs in all structures include
it. The worst cases can be seen within combination ceramics AlN and lead- free solder
SnAgCu in the Fig. 3, where stress achieves value 329MPa.
Tab. 2. Maximum stress within modeling structure using SnPb and SnAgCu solder
SnPb SnAgCu
FR4 Al
AlN FR4 Al
FR4 86 243 304 58 239 343
243 232 280 239 230 316
AlN 304 280 286 343 316 329
4 Conclusion
This work has focused on the 2D simulation and theromechanical analysis of improved
multisubstrate modules concept. It has been demonstrated that reliability of structure strongly
depends on the material properties of the structure. The results obtained from the various
predictive models were compared.
It can be said, that substrate FR4 is very yielding and its usage is possible with both types of
solders, eutectic SnPb and lead- free SnAgCu. Connection of ceramics is better ensuring by
eutectic solder SnPb due to its lower stress. It applies for AlN substrates especially.

The paper has been prepared as a part of the research work under grant projects Research of
Microelectronics Technologies for 3D systems GACR 102/04/0590, Modelling of
Microelectronics Systems and Structures MSMT 1609, and with the support of the Czech
Ministry of Education in the frame of Research Plan MSM 262200022 MIKROSYT
Microelectronic Systems and Technologies.

[1] SZENDIUCH, I., SANDERA, J., BILEK, J. Multi Substrate Modules Cheap Solution for 3D
Packaging. In Proceedings of The IMAPS Nordic Annual Conference. Stockholm, 2002, p.
114-122. ISBN 951-98002-4-7.
[2] Accuratus Fine Technical Ceramics and Glasses, accessible from
[3] BULVA, J., SZENDIUCH, I. Modelling of 3D Multimodule Substrate. In Proceedings of 27-th
International Conference and Exhibition IMAPS-Poland 2003. Gliwice, Poland, 2003, p. 126
129. ISBN 83-917701-0-9.
[4] ANSYS 8.0 Complete Users Manual Set