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Microstructural and mechanical analysis on Cu-Sn intermetallic micro-joints under isothermal condition

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journal contribution
posted on 27.08.2015 by Liping Mo, Zhichao Chen, Fengshun Wu, Changqing Liu
This study focuses on the mechanism of phase transformation from Cu6Sn5 into Cu3Sn and the homogenization process in full intermetallics (IMCs) micro-joints, which were prepared by soldering the initial Cu/Sn/Cu structure through high temperature storage in vacuum environment as the Transient Liquid Phase (TLP) process. From the microstructural observation by electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), a mixture of IMCs phases (Cu6Sn5 and Cu3Sn) has been found to constitute the sandwich-structured Cu/IMCs/Cu joints. With the dwell time increasing at 533 K, there were two layers of Cu3Sn emerging from both sides of copper substrates with the depletion of Cu6Sn5 layer, toward merging each other in the IMCs interlayer. Then the Cu3Sn grains with various sizes became more homogenous columnar crystallites. Meanwhile, some equiaxial ultra-fine grains accompanied with the Kirkendall voids, were found only in adjacent to the electroplated copper. In addition, a specific type of micropillar with the size ∼5 μm × 5 μm × 12 μm fabricated by focus ion beam (FIB) was used to carry out the mechanical testing by Nano-indentation, which confirmed that this type of joint is mechanically robust, regardless of its porous Cu3Sn IMC interconnection.


This research is funded through LU-HUST joint research degree program, and financially supported by a Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme Project within the 7th European Community Framework Program, No. PIRSES-GA-2010-269113, entitled “Micro-Multi-Material Manufacture to Enable Multifunctional Miniaturized Devices (M6)” and a China-European Union technology cooperation project, No. 1110. The authors also acknowledge the research funding by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and The Research Grants Council (RGC) Joint Research project (NSFC NO. No. 61261160498, RGC NO.CityU101/12).



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in



MO, L. et al., 2015. Microstructural and mechanical analysis on Cu-Sn intermetallic micro-joints under isothermal condition. Intermetallics, 66, pp. 13-21.


© Elsevier Ltd.


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Intermetallics and the definitive published version is available at