SMT, PCB Electronics Industry News

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News from Nihon Superior Co., Ltd.


Nihon Superior Highlights IMC Differences between Low-Ag and No-Ag Lead-Free Solders

Dec 30, 2011

Micrographs before and after 528 hours at 150°C

Micrographs before and after 528 hours at 150°C

Total thickness of IMC after 528 hours at elevated temperature

Total thickness of IMC after 528 hours at elevated temperature

Cu and Ni are the decisive factors.

Nihon Superior Co. Ltd., a supplier of advanced soldering materials to the global market, has highlighted the effectiveness of Cu and Ni as the essential elements in forming a stable IMC layer in lead-free soldering.

The micrographs on the left side come from a study undertaken by the University of Queensland to compare the Intermetallic layer at the interface between various lead-free solders and a copper substrate. The fluxed copper/OSP test boards were exposed to the solders for five seconds in a mini-wave machine with a pot temperature of 255°C. It was found that after 528 hours at 150°C, the intermetallic compound on the board soldered with Sn-0.7Cu-0.05Ni was smoother with slower growth of Cu3Sn and no cracking. By contrast, the IMC layer in Sn-0.7Cu-0.3Ag and Sn-0.7Cu-0.3Ag-0.1B with additions of 0.3 Ag and 0.3 Ag+0.1Bi was uneven with growth of Cu3Sn and cracking (Figure 2).

The Sn-0.7Cu-0.05Ni is the basis for Nihon Superior’s SN100C® solder that also incorporates a Ge addition as an antioxidant and flow promoter.

Silver-free, lead-free solder, SN100C now has a track record of more than 12 years of successful delivery of high productivity and high reliability. The first of the new SN100C Advantage Series®, SN99CN, builds on the strengths of the Sn-Cu-Ni formulation of SN100C with a controlled addition of silver. Both SN100C and SN99CN include Cu and Ni to form the stable IMC (Cu,Ni)6Sn5. These alloys will be exhibited under the theme “Implementing Lead-Free Soldering with Cost Reduction AND Reliability” at INTERNEPCON JAPAN 2012 to be held at the Tokyo Big Sight from January 18-20 (Booth No. East 13-30, East Hall 6).

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