Effects of cooling rate on creep behavior of a Sn-3.5Ag alloy

F. Ochoa, X. Deng, Nikhilesh Chawla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The effect of cooling rate on microstructure and creep behavior of bulk, eutectic Sn-3.5Ag solders was studied. The cooling rate is an important processing variable that significantly affects the microstructure of the solder and therefore determines its mechanical behavior. Controlled cooling rates were obtained by cooling specimens in different media: water, air, and furnace, which resulted in cooling rates of 24°C/s, 0.5°C/s, and 0.08°C/s, respectively. The cooling rate decreased the secondary dendrite arm size and the spacing of the Sn-rich phase, as well as the morphology of Ag3Sn. The Sn-dendrite arm size and spacing were smaller at fast cooling rates, while slower cooling rates yielded a nearly eutectic microstructure. The morphology of Ag3Sn also changed from relatively spherical, at faster cooling rates, to needlelike for slower cooling. The effect of cooling rate on creep behavior was studied at 25°C, 60°C, 95°C, and 120°C. Faster cooling rates were found to increase the creep strength of the solder due to the refinement of the solder microstructure. Stress exponents, n, indicated that dislocation climb was the controlling mechanism. Activation energies, for all cooling rates, indicated that the dominant diffusional mechanism corresponded to dislocation pipe diffusion of Sn. Grain boundary sliding (GBS) measurements were conducted, using both scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). It was observed that GBS had a very small contribution to the total creep strain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1596-1607
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Cooling rate
  • Creep behavior
  • Sn-3.5Ag alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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