Influence of cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoparticles on the microstructure and hardness of tin–silver–copper (Sn–Ag–Cu) solders on silver (Ag) surface-finished copper (Cu) substrates

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5375-5387
Journal / PublicationJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Volume25
Issue number12
Online published13 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

Abstract

Nano-sized, non-reacting, non-coarsening CeO2 particles with a density close to that of solder alloy were incorporated into Sn–3.0 wt%Ag–0.5 wt%Cu solder paste. The interfacial microstructure and hardness of Ag surface-finished Cu substrates were investigated, as a function of reaction time, at various temperatures. After the initial reaction, an island-shaped Cu6Sn5 intermetallic compound (IMC) layer was clearly observed at the interfaces of the Sn–Ag–Cu based solders/immersion Ag plated Cu substrates. However, after a prolonged reaction, a very thin, firmly adhering Cu3Sn IMC layer was observed between the Cu6Sn5 IMC layer and the substrates. Rod-like Ag3Sn IMC particles were also clearly observed at the interfaces. At the interfaces of the Sn–Ag–Cu based solder-Ag/Ni metallized Cu substrates, a (Cu, Ni)–Sn IMC layer was found. Rod-like Ag3Sn and needle-shaped Cu6Sn5 IMC particles were also observed on the top surface of the (Cu, Ni)–Sn IMC layer. As the temperature and reaction time increased, so did the thickness of the IMC layers. In the solder ball region of both systems, a fine microstructure of Ag3Sn, Cu6Sn5 IMC particles appeared in the β-Sn matrix. However, the growth behavior of the IMC layers of composite solder doped with CeO2 nanoparticles was inhibited, due to an accumulation of surface-active CeO2 nanoparticles at the grain boundary or in the IMC layers. In addition, the composite solder joint doped with CeO2 nanoparticles had a higher hardness value than the plain Sn–Ag–Cu solder joints, due to a well-controlled fine microstructure and uniformly distributed CeO2 nanoparticles. After 5 min of reaction on immersion Ag-plated Cu substrates at 250 °C, the micro-hardness values of the plain Sn–Ag–Cu solder joint and the composite solder joints containing 1 wt% of CeO2 nanoparticles were approximately 16.6 and 18.6 Hv, respectively. However after 30 min of reaction, the hardness values were approximately 14.4 and 16.6 Hv, while the micro-hardness values of the plain Sn–Ag–Cu solder joints and the composite solder joints on Ag/Ni metallized Cu substrates after 5 min of reaction at 250 °C were approximately 15.9 and 17.4 Hv, respectively. After 30 min of reaction, values of approximately 14.4 and 15.5 Hv were recorded.

Citation Format(s)

Influence of cerium oxide (CeO2) nanoparticles on the microstructure and hardness of tin–silver–copper (Sn–Ag–Cu) solders on silver (Ag) surface-finished copper (Cu) substrates. / Fouzder, Tama; Chan, Y. C.; Chan, Daniel K.

In: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics, Vol. 25, No. 12, 12.2014, p. 5375-5387.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review