Mechanisms of deformation in high-ductility Ce-containing Sn-Ag-Cu solder alloys

H. X. Xie, Nikhilesh Chawla, Y. L. Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Rare-earth-containing Pb-free solders have gained widespread attention due to their superior ductility relative to conventional Pb-free alloys. Our previous work has shown that new Ce-based alloys are also extremely oxidation resistant compared to La or Y-containing alloys. In this paper, we report on a mechanism-based model for the large increases in ductility with small addition of rare-earth element to Sn-3.9Ag-0.7Cu. The mechanisms of ductility enhancement by Ce were observed in a scanning electron microscope, in interrupted shear-tests, where CeSn3 particles served as microscopic fracture and void nucleation sites. Micro-mechanical modeling using the finite-element method was used to examine the plastic strain field in solder affected by the particles. The concentrated deformation band was seen to be disturbed by the particles, resulting in a more uniform deformation pattern with reduced strains and thus enhanced ductility of the lap-sheared joint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1142-1147
Number of pages6
JournalMicroelectronics Reliability
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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