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A. Gyenes, A. Simon, P. Lanszki and Z. Gácsi

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of small amount nickel addition (0, 200, 400, 800, 1800 ppm) on the microstructure and the mechanical properties of Sn-0.7Cu lead-free solder alloys. It is known that even ppm level Ni additions have significant effects on the microstructure of Sn-Cu solder alloys. Ni suppresses the growth of β-Sn dendrites in favour of eutectic formation. As the nickel content increases, the microstructure undergoes a morphological evolution from hypoeutectic through fully eutectic to hypereutectic. Along with these transformations, the mechanical properties of the alloy also significantly change. Based on the experimental results presented in this paper, the Sn-0.7Cu solder achieves maximum strength at the addition level of 800 ppm Ni, when the microstructure becomes fully eutectic.

Open access

A. Gyenes, M. Benke, N. Teglas, E. Nagy and Z. Gacsi

Abstract

According to the directives (RoHS and WEEE) adopted by the European Union, lead has been banned from the manufacturing processes because of its health and environmental hazards. Therefore, the development of lead-free solders is one of the most important research areas of the electronic industry. This paper investigates multicomponent Sn-Ag-Cu based lead-free solders with different compositions. The properties of the six-component Innolot (SAC+BiSbNi) and two low-Ag containing alloys were compared with the widespread used SAC307 solder. Microstructure investigations and X-ray diffraction measurements were performed to analyze and identify the formed phases, furthermore, tensile tests and microhardness measurements were executed to determine the mechanical properties of the examined solders.

Open access

E. Nagy, F. Kristaly, A. Gyenes and Z. Gacsi

Abstract

Interfacial intermetallic compounds (IMC) play an important role in Sn-Cu lead-free soldering. The size and morphology of the intermetallic compounds formed between the lead-free solder and the Cu substrate have a significant effect on the mechanical strength of the solder joint.

In the soldering process of Sn-Cu alloys, Cu6Sn5 intermetallic compounds are formed. The complex structural behaviour of Cu6Sn5 IMC is temperature- and composition-dependent and it is long since subject to scientific research. The Cu6Sn5 phase basically exists in two crystal structures: hexagonal η-Cu6Sn5 (at temperatures above 186°C) and monoclinic η’-Cu6Sn5 (at lower temperatures). In the presence of Ni in the solder, the η-η’ transformation does not occur, therefore, the η-Cu6Sn5 phase remains stable.

In this study the role of Ni in the (Cu,Ni)6Sn5 intermetallic compound in Sn-Cu lead-free solders was examined. Sn-Cu alloys with different Cu content (0.5 to 1 mass%) were modified through Ni addition. The morphology of the intermetallic compounds of the modified Sn-Cu alloys was investigated by optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the IMC phases were examined with X-ray diffraction method (XRD).