Gold-Based Solder Paste
Gold-tin solder paste is used in a variety of high-reliability applications, where its high melting point, non-creep, high-tensile stress, thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as proven usage life makes it a standard "known-good" material.
- Highest tensile strength of any solder
- High melting point is compatible with subsequent reflow processes
- Superior thermal conductivity
- Resistance to corrosion
- Superior thermal fatigue resistance
- Good joint strength
- Excellent wetting properties
- Resistance to oxidation
- AuSn is compatible with precious metals
- AuSn is RoHS compliant
Gold-tin Solder Paste
- 80Au/20Sn Powder
- Type 3 (25-45 microns)
- Type 4 (15-38 microns)
- Type 5 (15-25 microns)
- Type 6 (10-20 microns)
- No-clean flux
- NC-SMQ51SC (used in high-power LED and MEMS)
- RMA-SMQ51A (for difficult to solder surfaces in die-attach)
- NC-SMQ75 (halogen-free and low-residue; requires <10ppm oxygen)
- Low-volume packaging
- Jars (10g per jar)
- Syringes (5cc syringes)
Alternative Methods of Using AuSn
|Characteristics||Solder Paste||Solder Preform||Evaporation||Alloy Plating||Plating by Layers|
|Minimum bondline thickness||25.00μm||12.00μm||0.01μm||0.25μm||2.50μm|
|Cleanliness||Low cleanliness (flux surface contamination)||High cleanliness (when no flux used)||High cleanliness||Good cleanliness (trace of organic impurities only)||Good cleanliness (organic co-deposit impurities)|
|Deposition equipment||Stencil printer or dispenser||Manual or pick & place||Evaporation chamber||Plating line||Plating line|
|Device heat exposure||>280°C||>280°C||>Ambient||Ambient||Ambient + diffusion heating step|
|Strengths||Low-cost equipment; manual or automated assembly; rapid deposition rate||High purity; manual or automated assembly; preforms designed to match deposition footprint||Very high purity; rapid deposition; low-cost equipment; thin to thick layers||Good purity; deposition targeted to conducting surfaces||Good purity; deposition targeted to conducting surfaces|
|Weaknesses||Flux residue inclusion; thick deposits only; requires diffusion step; requires cleaning; refrigerated storage||Expensive automation equipment; thick depositions only; accurate manual placement difficult, may require flux or reducing atmosphere||Wide area deposition (material loss); may require diffusion step||Expensive equipment; difficult to control composition; low deposition rates||Expensive equipment; difficult to control composition; low deposition rates; requires diffusion step|
Factors to consider
- Higher yields and cost per unit make gold a viable option, even though the initial cost is higher than alternative solders
- A low oxygen atmosphere may be required if the application is flux free
- Some applications require pressure to promote good, void-free reflow on horizontal surfaces.
- In step soldering or processes that may require rework, soldering to gold plated surfaces results in an intermetallic that melts at a higher temperature than the original alloy. When using the AuSn alloy, this can be addressed by using high tin-containing alloys.
- Alternative methods, such as scrubbing, forming gas or formic acid, may be needed for oxide removal of the soldered surface.
- Vacuum soldering: flux-less and void-free soldering
- Die-attach: high process temperature
- Reflow: convection, infrared, and induction
- Laser soldering: targeted soldering
- Vapor phase reflow: uniform heating
- Manual Soldering: solder iron, hot plate, ultra sonic, and dipping
Gold-Based Solder Paste Technical Documents
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Safety Data Sheets
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Solder Paste Blog Posts
Non-Wet Opens (NWO): Understand the cause as well as the necessary flux technology to mitigate them.
In SMT Statistical Process Control, the bottom line is that Cpk is king. Here's the proof.
Three IPC test methods are used to guarantee to customers that they are getting the same material (within agreed tolerances). However one test has not changed in decades and almost always gives the wrong answer!
Senior Product Manager,
From One Engineer to Another®
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