Lead-free solders are important materials in current generation electrical packages, due to the increasingly stringent legislative requirement aimed at reducing the use of lead. The lead-free solders based on the Sn-Cu system with Ni addition have become popular because of their superior soldering properties, as well as their comparatively low cost. This research investigates the effect of Ni addition on the growth morphologies, crystal orientations and mechanical properties of Cu 6Sn 5 at the interface between hyper-eutectic Sn-Cu high-temperature lead-free solder alloys and Cu substrates, prior to and after aging, by the use of X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and nanoindentation. The (Cu,Ni) 6Sn 5 in Sn-Cu-Ni/Cu solder joints showed a more strongly oriented (1 0 1) texture, compared to the Cu 6Sn 5 in Sn-Cu/Cu solder joints. The Ni-induced (1 0 1) texture contributes to higher and more scattered average values with larger standard deviations in both elastic modulus and hardness for (Cu,Ni) 6Sn 5.
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