Low cycle fatigue studies of solder joints designed and fabricated to represent generic interconnection structures typical of what might be used in packaging microelectronics have been carried out to assist in the development of a better understanding of the fundamental mechanical properties that determine the reliability of such structures. These studies involve micro scale joints (micro-joints) of both eutectic and 95/5 Pb/Sn solders fabricated by several different processes. In addition to a discussion of the results of recent tests reflecting specified loss-of-strength failure criteria and extensive post-test failure mode analysis of, primarily, 95/5 Pb/Sn micro-joints, descriptions of (1) the design and fabrication of the custom shear test vehicles and (2) the high-resolution electro-mechanical loading system used to apply cyclic loadings under isothermal conditions will be presented. This computer controlled system provides for the application of fully or partially reversed shear strains (with or without dwells) to either prototypes or custom test vehicles, and can be operated to maintain either total or plastic strain control during cycling.

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