Journal article

Interfacial intermetallic growth and strength of composite lead-free solder alloy through isothermal aging

The effects of particle reinforcement of Sn-4.0wt.%Ag-0.5wt.%Cu (SAC405) lead-free solder on interfacial intermetallic layer growth and strength of the ensuing joints through short-term isothermal aging (150 degrees C) were studied. Composite solders were prepared by either incorporating 2 wt.% Cu (3 mu m to 20 mu m) or Cu2O (similar to 150 nm) particles into SAC405 paste. Aggressive flux had the effect of reducing the Cu2O nanoparticles into metallic Cu which subsequently reacted with the solder alloy to form the Cu6Sn5 intermetallic. While all solders had similar interfacial intermetallic growth upon reflow, both of the composite solders' growth rates slowed through aging to reach a common growth rate exponent of approximately 0.38, considerably lower than that of the nonreinforced solder (n = 0.58). The nanoscale reinforced solder additionally exhibited the highest tensile strength in both the initial and aged conditions, behavior also attributed to its quick conversion to a stable microstructure.


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