Failure stress comparison of different pairings of Ag-plating and reflow-oven-processed pressureless-sintered-Ag interconnects
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Sintered-silver is a candidate material to supplant solders for interconnects in power electronic packaging for many reasons including its desirably high electrical and thermal conductivities and compliance to Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) guidelines. The shear failure stress of interconnects though is limited by whatever constituent is the weakest, and that includes any employed plating. In the present study, silver-platings were processed electrolytically, electrolessly, and through sputter deposition and their influence on the entire “interconnect system” shear strength was examined. Test sets employing gold plating and no plating were included for comparison and to aid interpretation. Ambient-air, reflow-oven-processed, pressureless-sintered-silver interconnects were identically fabricated with all plating test sets. It was found that all considered silver-plating methods produced consistently strong (characteristic failure stresses > 55 MPa) sintered-silver interconnects. Because failures tended to be adhesive in all six sets, differences in failure stress among the silver-plated sets and the gold-plated or unplated sets were likely due to differences in the adhesive strength of the sintered silver with silver-plating, gold-plating, or direct bonding with copper.
Research sponsored by the Electric Drive Technologies Program, DOE Vehicle Technologies Office, under contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with UT-Battelle, LLC. The authors thank USDOE’s S. Rogers and ORNL’s B. Ozpineci for their financial and programmatic support, S. Campbell for reflow oven assistance, R. Wiles for CAD assistance, M. Lance for surface roughness measurements, K. Jones for formatting assistance, and E. Gurpinar, E. Lara-Curzio, and L. Marlino for their reviews and helpful inputs.
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