MODELING THE PHYSICS OF FAILURE FOR ELECTRONIC PACKAGING COMPONENTS SUBJECTED TO THERMAL AND MECHANICAL LOADING
Barker, Donald D
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This dissertation presents three separate studies that examined electronic components using numerical modeling approaches. The use of modeling techniques provided a deeper understanding of the physical phenomena that contribute to the formation of cracks inside ceramic capacitors, damage inside plated through holes, and to dynamic fracture of MEMS structures. The modeling yielded numerical substantiations for previously proposed theoretical explanations. Multi-Layer Ceramic Capacitors (MLCCs) mounted with stiffer lead-free solder have shown greater tolerance than tin-lead solder for single cycle board bending loads with low strain rates. In contrast, flexible terminations have greater tolerance than stiffer standard terminations under the same conditions. It has been proposed that residual stresses in the capacitor account for this disparity. These stresses have been attributed to the higher solidification temperature of lead free solders coupled with the CTE mismatch between the board and the capacitor ceramic. This research indicated that the higher solidification temperatures affected the residual stresses. Inaccuracies in predicting barrel failures of plated through holes are suspected to arise from neglecting the effects of the reflow process on the copper material. This research used thermo mechanical analysis (TMA) results to model the damage in the copper above the glass transition temperature (Tg) during reflow. Damage estimates from the hysteresis plots were used to improve failure predictions. Modeling was performed to examine the theory that brittle fracture in MEMS structures is not affected by strain rates. Numerical modeling was conducted to predict the probability of dynamic failure caused by shock loads. The models used a quasi-static global gravitational load to predict the probability of brittle fracture. The research presented in this dissertation explored drivers for failure mechanisms in flex cracking of capacitors, barrel failures in plated through holes, and dynamic fracture of MEMS. The studies used numerical modeling to provide new insights into underlying physical phenomena. In each case, theoretical explanations were examined where difficult geometries and complex material properties made it difficult or impossible to obtain direct measurements.