Determination of Chemical Composition of Compounds in Lead-Free Solder Alloy Sn-Zn-Al Using SEM/EDS


Energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) has been an important technique to determine the chemical composition of an alloys and compounds. However, there are several considerations that should be taken into account to get reliable chemical analysis. The relation between electron–matter volume and acceleration voltage are the most important parameter. In this work, chemical composition of diamond-like phases (DLP) presented in Sn-Zn-Al solder alloys was analyzed. Using focused ion beam, a tetrahedral shape of the DLP was elucidated. Monte Carlo simulations and experimental analyses were used to investigate the effect of acceleration voltages on chemical composition. It was found that at an acceleration voltage of 10 kV, the energy required for exciting the characteristic x-ray was enough for a reliable determination of the DLP composition. Besides, it was found that the electron–matter interaction volume was inside the DLP and the matrix contribution was reduced, giving a chemical composition rather close to the real.

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The authors are grateful for the financial support of DGAPA-PAPIIT-UNAM No. IN102319. The authors would like to acknowledge Laboratorio Universitario de Microscopía Electrónica (LUME) for electron microscopy facilities. A. Tejeda, E. Hernández, A. López-Vivas, C. Flores Morales J. Romero and L. Bazán-Díaz are also acknowledged for their valuable technical assistance.

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Correspondence to O. Novelo-Peralta.

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Figueroa, I.A., Novelo-Peralta, O. & Lara-Rodríguez, G.A. Determination of Chemical Composition of Compounds in Lead-Free Solder Alloy Sn-Zn-Al Using SEM/EDS. Metallogr. Microstruct. Anal. (2020).

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  • Chemical composition
  • Lead-free solder
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Energy-dispersive spectroscopy