The trend towards miniaturization of electronic products leads to the need for very small sized solder joints. Therefore, there is a higher reliability risk that too large a fraction of solder joints will transform into Intermetallic Compounds (IMCs) at the solder interface. In this paper, fracture mechanics study of the IMC layer for SnPb and Pb-free solder joints was carried out using finite element numerical computer modelling method. It is assumed that only one crack is present in the IMC layer. Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) approach is used for parametric study of the Stress Intensity Factors (SIF, KI and KII), at the predefined crack in the IMC layer of solder butt joint tensile sample. Contrary to intuition, it is revealed that a thicker IMC layer in fact increases the reliability of solder joint for a cracked IMC. Value of KI and KII are found to decrease with the location of the crack further away from the solder interfaces while other parameters are constant. Solder thickness and strain rate were also found to have a significant influence on the SIF values. It has been found that soft solder matrix generates non-uniform plastic deformation across the solder-IMC interface near the crack tip that is responsible to obtain higher KI and KII
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