Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics

First Advisor

D.M.L. Meyer


This thesis focuses on the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a new method for testing the adhesion strength of lead-free solders, named the Isotraction Bump Pull method (IBP). In order to develop a direct solder joint-strength testing method that did not require customization for different solder types, bump sizes, specific equipment, or trial-and-error, a combination of two widely used and accepted standards was created. First, solder bumps were made from three types of lead free solder were generated on untreated copper PCB substrates using an in-house fabricated solder bump-on-demand generator, Following this, the newly developed method made use of a polymer epoxy to encapsulate the solder bumps that could then be tested under tension using a high precision universal vertical load machine.

The tests produced repeatable and predictable results for each of the three alloys tested that were in agreement with the relative behavior of the same alloys using other testing methods in the literature. The median peak stress at failure for the three solders tested were 2020.52 psi, 940.57 psi, and 2781.0 psi, and were within one standard deviation of the of all data collected for each solder. The assumptions in this work that brittle fracture occurred through the Intermetallic Compound layer (IMC) were validated with the use of Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry and high magnification of the fractured surface of both newly exposed sides of the test specimens. Following this, an examination of the process to apply the results from the tensile tests into standard material science equations for the fracture of the systems was performed.