Best Paper Award at SMTA China East Technology Conference

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William Yu

William Yu, our business development manager, won the Best Paper Award at the 2024 SMTA China East Technology Conference for the technical paper: Next-generation High-reliability Solder for Enabling Enhanced Thermo-mechanical Performance in Automotive Applications.

Research and development of next-generation high reliability solders has been motivated by the ever-increasing demand for reliability at higher operating temperatures and extended life requirements in more demanding automotive electronic applications. The combination of harsh operating conditions, increased power densities, and miniaturization has added to the complexity of assembly designs in the automotive electronics space for which traditional surface mount solders are no longer suitable. Suitability and selection of a solder alloy for such electronics assembly is primarily defined by the thermo-mechanical reliability of solder alloys, in which solder joint performance can be evaluated using various reliability tests.

This work presents a next-generation high-reliability solder alloy for automotive electronics that uses a combination of complex metallurgy such as solid solution strengthening, precipitation strengthening, grain refinement, and diffusion modifiers for achieving enhanced performance over traditional Sn-Ag-Cu alloys. Micro-additives contribute to intermetallic compound (IMC) formation and strength retention at high operational temperatures. The novel alloys showed significantly higher thermal cycling performance in two different test profiles of -40°C to 125°C and -40°C to 150°C, both using 30-minute holding times. This new ultra-high reliability alloy exhibits significant step function improvement in the thermal cycling characteristic life over other high-reliability alloys and has considerably higher drop shock performance. Such results are also confirmed by solder joints cross-sections, IMC thickness measurements, and microscopic analysis. The above performance results are very encouraging and demonstrate the potential and suitability of this novel high-reliability solder to be used in surface mount applications with challenging reliability requirements such as automotive electronics.

Thanks to William Yu for his brilliant performance on delivering the presentation. We also appreciate all the colleagues who were involved in product research, development, experimentation, and paper writing, especially the India Bangalore R&D team members: Pritha Choudhury, Ph.D., Raghu Raj Rangaraju, Prathap Augustine, Morgana Ribas, Ph.D.,Siuli Sarkar, Ph.D. and Paul Salerno (USA) Alan Plant (UK).

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