Journal of electronic materials vol:38 issue:9 pages:1881-1895
This work addresses a new mode of brittle failure that occurs in the bulk of tin-based lead-free solder joints, unlike the typical brittle failures that occur in the interfacial intermetallics. Brittle failures in the joint bulk result from the low-temperature ductile-to-brittle transition in the fracture behavior of beta-tin. The bulk embrittlement of these joints is discussed by referring to the results of impact tests performed on both solder joints and bulk solder specimens. The mechanism of bulk embrittlement is largely explained based on the results of a fractography study performed on the bulk joint failures using scanning electron microscopy.