Interfacial reactions between lead-free solders and common base materials

Tomi Laurila*, Vesa Vuorinen, Jorma Kivilahti

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    961 Citations (Scopus)


    The objective of this review is to study interfacial reactions between pure Sn or Sn-rich solders, and common base metals used in Pb-free electronics production. In particular, the reasons leading to the observed interfacial reactions products and their metallurgical evolution have been analyzed. Results presented in the literature have been critically evaluated with the help of combined thermodynamic-kinetic approach based on the concept of local equilibrium and microstructural knowledge. The following conclusions have been reached: Firstly, the formations of intermetallic compounds in solid/liquid reaction couples are primarily controlled by the dissolution processes of base metals. Other factors that need be considered are the thermodynamic driving force for the formation of intermetallic compounds, their structures and concentration profiles in liquid. Secondly, annealing of solder interconnections in solid state can drastically change the microstructures formed in the solid/liquid reactions, especially if only one of the components in the solder takes part in the interfacial reactions. Thirdly, additional elements can have three major effects on the binary reactions between a base metal and Sn: (i) they can increase or decrease the reaction/growth rates, (ii) the additives can change the physical properties of the phases formed, and (iii) they can form additional reaction products or displace the binary equilibrium phases by forming new reaction products. Finally, if the local stable or metastable equilibrium is established at the interface, stability information together with kinetic considerations can provide a feasible approach to analyze interfacial reactions, which can have significant impact on the reliability of soldered electronics assemblies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-60
    Number of pages60
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2005
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Diffusion kinetics
    • Intermetallic compounds
    • Lead-free solders
    • Metallization
    • Microstructures
    • Thermodynamics


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