Nanoindentation of rare earth-Sn intermetallics in Pb-free solders

M. A. Dudek, Nikhilesh Chawla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Incorporating rare earth (RE) elements into Sn-rich solder often results in the formation of RE-Sn intermetallics, which affect the deformation behavior of the solder. Little information is available on these constituent phases, and even less on their mechanical properties. In this paper, we report on Young's modulus and hardness of LaSn3, CeSn3 and YSn3 intermetallic compounds formed in a Sn-Ag-Cu-2RE alloy, determined using nanoindentation. Nanoindentation on pure Sn was also performed for comparison. The Continuous Stiffness Method (CSM) was used during indentation to obtain the instantaneous Young's modulus as a function of depth. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to analyze the indentations after testing. The measured values of Young's modulus for LaSn3, CeSn3 and YSn3 were 64 ± 3, 69 ± 3 and 98 ± 4 GPa, respectively. Values of hardness for LaSn3, CeSn3 and YSn3 were 1.04 ± 0.16, 1.03 ± 0.03 and 3.47 ± 0.27, respectively. Comparison of these values with limited data in the literature was conducted and is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1016-1020
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • A. Rare-earth intermetallics
  • B. Mechanical properties at ambient temperature
  • F. Mechanical testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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