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Prolonged Steady-State Exposure of Printed Wiring Boards Under Conditions of Temperature Humidity and Bias

[+] Author Affiliations
M. Reid, J. Punch, B. Rodgers

University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

T. Galkin, T. Stenberg, O. Rusanenc, E. Elonen, M. Vilèn, K. Väkeväinen

Nokia Corporation, Finland

Paper No. IPACK2005-73353, pp. 1271-1276; 6 pages
  • ASME 2005 Pacific Rim Technical Conference and Exhibition on Integration and Packaging of MEMS, NEMS, and Electronic Systems collocated with the ASME 2005 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Advances in Electronic Packaging, Parts A, B, and C
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 17–22, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Electronic and Photonic Packaging Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4200-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3762-9
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Ionic migration has been the subject of intensive study, both theoretical and experimental, over the past 40 years. It is known as a reliability concern for printed wiring boards (PWBs) in high density microelectronic packaging and power electronic packaging. Ionic migration is an electrochemical phenomena that occurs primarily under normal ambient conditions: i.e. when the local temperatures and current densities are low enough to allow moisture on the surface. Standardised test 85°C/85%RH is typically used for accelerating and predicting ionic migration failure, however, the possibility of moisture condensation — a prerequisite for ionic migration — at a relatively high temperature and low relative humidity is unlikely. In order to assess more realistic and less thermally severe environments, this work examines prolonged steady state exposure of PWBs. Steady-state conditions of 90%RH at 30°C under a bias of 5V DC were tested over a 210 day period with continuous in-situ monitoring of dendritic growth. Investigative techniques were conducted to evaluate the migration development on the PWBs after testing using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDS). This paper will demonstrate that steady-state thermal humidity bias (THB) tests appear to provide ionic migration behaviour similar in service conditions, however, do not demonstrate the dramatic failure associated with ionic migration.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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