SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Muhammad Sadiq
TIME: Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 10:00 a.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 210
TITLE: Advanced Experimental Approach Towards Design and Fabrication of Next Generation Lead-Free Solder For Highly Reliable Microelectronics Applications in Severe Environment
COMMITTEE: Dr. Mohammed Cherkaoui, Chair (ME)
Dr. Richard Neu (ME)
Dr. Ting Zhu (ME)
Dr. Abdallah Ougazzaden (ECE)
Dr. Esteban Busso (School of Mines, Paris)


Sn-Pb solder has long been used in the Electronics industry. But, due to its toxic nature and environmental effects, certain restrictions are made on its use and therefore many researchers are looking to replace it. Sn-3.0Ag-0.5Cu (SAC) solders are suggested as lead-free replacements but their coarse microstructure and formation of hard and brittle Inter-Metallic Compounds (IMCs) like Ag3Sn and Cu6Sn5 have limited their use in high temperature applications. In this research work, RE elements, mostly lanthanum (La), are used as potential additives to SAC alloys. They reduce the surface free energy, refine the grain size and improve the mechanical and wetting properties of SAC alloys. An extensive experimental work has been performed on the microstructure evolution, bulk mechanical properties, individual phase (matrix and IMCs) mechanical properties, creep behavior and wettability performance of the SAC and SAC-La alloys, with different (La) dopings. SEM and EDS have been used to follow the continuous growth of the IMCs at 150C and 200C and thus provide a quantitative measure in terms of their size, spacing and volume fraction. Grain size is measured at regular intervals starting from 10 hours upto 200 hours of thermal aging using Optical Microscope with cross polarized light. Bulk mechanical properties are evaluated using tensile tests at low strain rates. Individual phase mechanical properties like Youngs modulus, hardness, strain rate sensitivity index and bulge effects are characterized with Nanoindentation from 100 microns upto 5000 microns loadings at different temperatures of 25C, 45C, 65C and 85C. Creep experiments are performed at elevated temperatures with good fitting of Dorn creep model. Activation energy measurements are made at 40C, 80C and 120C. Wettability testing on copper substrates are used for surface tension measurements, wetting forces and contact angles of SAC and SAC-La doped alloys at 250C and 260C.