Lead-free 0201 manufacturing, assembly and reliability test results
Ramkumar, S. Manian
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The trend towards smaller, faster and cheaper electronic devices has led to an increase in the use of 0201 (L not, vert, similar 0.02 in.; W not, vert, similar 0.01 in.) and even smaller sized passive components. The size advantages of the 0201 component make it a popular choice among design engineers but not among manufacturing engineers. From a manufacturing perspective, the size of the 0201 package poses significant challenges to the printed circuit board (PCB) assembly process. The many challenges with 0201 assembly can be attributed to the solder paste volume, pad design, aperture design, board finish, type of solder paste, pick-and-place and reflow profile. If these factors are not optimized, they will introduce undesirable manufacturing defects. The small size of 0201 packages and undetected manufacturing defects will also raise concerns about their second level interconnect reliability, especially for lead-free solder alloys and surface finishes, with new processes and higher reflow requirements. To determine the optimum conditions, a design-of-experiment (DOE) study was carried out to investigate the effects of these parameters on assembly defects and solder joint reliability. This paper presents the test results and comparative literature data on the influence of a few key manufacturing parameters and defects associated with the 0201 component using lead-free and tin–lead solder alloys. Data pertaining to component shear strength before and after isothermal aging at 150 °C and intermetallic growth up to 500 h of aging are presented. A number of test vehicles were also subjected to thermal cycling (1500 cycles) in the range of −55/100 °C to determine the solder fatigue behavior. Shear test results for test vehicles subjected to thermal cycling is also presented. In addition, optical microscopy analysis of solder joint behavior during thermal cycling showing the progress of the solder damage and cross-sectional photos taken at 1500 cycles is included.