Effects of Lanthanum Doping on the Microstructure and Mechanical Behavior of a SnAg Alloy
MetadataShow full item record
Lead-free solders such as SnAg and SnAgCu are used extensively as replacements of SnPb solders in microelectronics packaging. But these alloys have several drawbacks, such as poor wetting ability and formation of intermetallic compounds (IMC). Doping of rare earth element (RE) on SnAg alloys has been found to improve the wetting property, reduce IMCs and their growth, and refine the microstructure which results in improved mechanical properties of the solder. This study focuses on establishing the quantitative effects of RE doping on the microstructure and mechanical behavior of 96.5Sn3.5Ag alloy. SnAg alloys with different amounts of Lanthanum were made. Specimens were cast under typical reflow conditions, and then aged at different temperatures for three different aging times. Quantitative microscopy was conducted on samples with different amounts of La doping. It was found that doping greatly reduces the grain size, as well as the size of the intermetallic particles Ag3Sn. However, the inter-particle spacing remains relatively unaffected by the La doping amount. Creep tests at various temperatures and strain rates were conducted. The results show that La doping increases creep resistance of the SnAg alloy by ~15%. The creep test result can be fit into a modified microstructure dependent Anand model. A new constitutive law was also proposed to account for the hierarchal microstructure over multiple length scales. Specifically, at the sub micrometer scale, the SnAg eutectic region is treated as a particulate-reinforced composite with the Ag3Sn being the particle and Sn being the matrix. At the micrometer length scale, the solder alloys is treated as a two-phase composite with the Sn dendrite as the particle and the SnAg eutectic region as the matrix. Good agreement was found between the model predictions and the creep test results. Fatigue test was performed on bulk samples. It was found that RE doping increases the fatigue life of SnAg alloy by a factor of 5.