Failure Analysis In Depth
BGA Analysis and Cross-Section
Determine the cause of voids that appear in BGA balls that contain a microvia beneath them.
X-ray is used to identify the quality of the solder joints and key areas of interest for the cross section analysis. During the x-ray analysis, other anomalies were noticed as well.
After X-ray, a cross section of the part was made and the scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to obtain key high-resolution images. By using the SEM, we were able to determine that a small air pocket and residual board fabrication volatiles were present in the via prior to reflow causing a large void at the bottom of the solder joint. This proved that the void was due to via in the pad and board fabrication, not the processing of the component.
The optimum solution is a conductively filled via, a copper plugged via or a solid microvia in pad. This allows the solder to fully wet the bond pad and ensures that no voids escape from the microvia either because of insufficient filling of the via or outgassing of the via contaminants into the solder joint.