Effects of high current density on lead-free solder joints of chip-size passive SMD components

Attila Geczy, Daniel Straubinger, Andras Kovacs, Oliver Krammer, Pavel Mach, G. Harsányi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a novel approach on investigating critical current densities in the solder joints of chip-size surface mounted device (SMD) components. The investigation involves a numerical approach and a physical validation with selected track-to-pad connections and high current loads (CXs). Design/methodology/approach: During the investigations, shape of solder fillets was calculated in Surface Evolver, and then the current densities were calculated accordingly in the given geometry. For the verification, CX tests were performed on joints at elevated temperatures. The joints were qualified with X-ray microscopy, cross-section analysis and shear tests. Findings: This study ascertained that the inhomogeneity in current density depends on the track-to-pad structure of the joint. Also this study found that the heavy CX decreases the mechanical strength, but the degradation does not reach the level of electromigration (EM)-induced voiding. Practical implications: The heavy CX significantly affects joint reliability and the results point out to EM-induced failure-limitations on printed circuit board (PCB)-based assemblies due to the thermomechanical weakness of the FR4 material. Originality/value: The experiments investigate current density from a novel aspect on more frequently used small-scale components with different track-to-pad configurations – pointing out possible failure sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalSoldering and Surface Mount Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Chip-size components
  • Current density
  • Electromigration
  • Lead-free soldering
  • Solder shape calculation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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