Using Fundamental Physics to Assess and Predict the Reliability of Solder Interconnects

Achievement date: 
2018
Outcome/accomplishment: 

A novel method to evaluate the thermomechanical reliability of solder interconnects within microelectronics was developed with support from the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) based at the University of Illinois.

Impact/benefits: 

With a 10x reduction in the time needed to test electronic devices for reliability, the new method promises to reduce the cost of a broad range of consumer and industrial products that rely on microelectronics. Also, the reliability assessments can be applied across multiple designs, as testing is based on fundamental physics of device failure, rather than actual design information, such as size and layout of electronic components.

Explanation/Background: 

A revolution has taken place in the miniaturization and increased functionality of electronics. Soldering technology has helped spur this progress, whether in portable electronic devices for consumers or advanced systems for military and industry. Yet thermal stress on solder interconnects remains a main cause of failure in microelectronics packaging.