Analysis of solder joint failures arisen during the soldering process


  • Bálint Balogh
  • Gábor Harsányi
  • Róbert Kovács
  • Csaba Nagynémedi
  • Bence Papp


The paper gives an overview of the analysis methods applied by electronic failure analysis laboratories for detection, localization and in depth analysis of solder joint failures. The paper focuses on failures that arise during the soldering process. Besides the analysis methods case studies and a few failure modes together with their inspection and root causes are also described. Optical microscopy is used for sample documentation and failure localization. X-ray microimaging can be applied to non-destructively inspect hidden joints i.e. BGA (ball grid array), flip-chip, CSP (chip scale package) bump and micro-wire. It can be also used to measure the amount of solder or voids in the joints. Inspection of PWB (printed wiring board) tracks and via metallization can also be carried out by these systems. SAM (scanning acoustic microscopy) is an effective tool to detect and to visualize delaminations or cracks inside electronics packages or assemblies. As failures are in most cases retraceable to material or compo sitional problems, SEM (scanning electron microscopy) together with electron microprobe analysis can be applied to find the root cause of failures. Thorough analysis of a broken solder joint, wetting problem of cut surfaces, delamination and insufficient through-hole solder joints are presented in the paper. By these case studies not only the failure analysis procedure can be demonstrated, but also the root causes of these failures are revealed.


failure analysis, SAM, SEM, solder joint failure

How to Cite

Balogh, B., Harsányi, G., Kovács, R., Nagynémedi, C., Papp, B. “Analysis of solder joint failures arisen during the soldering process”, Periodica Polytechnica Electrical Engineering, 52(1-2), pp. 5–11, 2008.