A Novel Mechanism of Embrittlement Affecting the Impact Reliability of Tin-Based Lead-Free Solder Joints

Konstantina Lambrinou, Wout Maurissen, Paresh Limaye, Bart Vandevelde, Bert Verlinden, Ingrid De Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


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 β-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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1895
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number9
Early online date28 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


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