The conduction mechanism in Ag-based conductive adhesive, which has attracted the attention of researchers, has been intensively studied by the in situ observations of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and by using special methods that employ the use of microprobes; Ag-based conductive adhesive is considered as an alternative to Pb-free solders. A current versus voltage (I-V) curve measured by using a microscope exhibited peculiar fluctuations, which implied an irreversible change in the internal structure of a cured adhesive. TEM observations showed a local shape change in Ag agglomerations, such as the formation of small horns, in a sample that was subjected to a large electric current of 1 μA. Electron holography data, which revealed the inhomogeneous distribution of equipotential lines in the sample, also implied an essential role of morphological change in the conduction properties of Ag-based conductive adhesive.
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