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How Silver Powder Metallurgy Affects the Physical Properties of Low Temperature Firing Silver Conductor
Keywords: Thick film paste, Low temp firing (500-550C), Lead free solder
With the implementation of RoHS (the Restriction of Hazardous Substance) Directive banning the use of Lead, Cadmium, Mercury and Hexavalent Chromium, hybrid microelectronic manufacturers are globally embracing the lead free movement. These manufacturers must not only understand the implications of their material choice but must be aware of the interaction between lead free solder alloys and their RoHS compliant thick film materials. It is commonly known that lead free solder alloys process at much higher reflow temperatures than the lead containing solder which can directly impact the fired film leach resistance and the loss of adhesion. There are also other concerns; lead free solders alloys generally require a different organic flux system to promote wetting and reflow, but this change may cause a fired film conductor to leach more easily than the flux used in the lead containing solders . The use of these lead free solders such as SAC305, SAC405 or 95/5on a low firing (500-550°C)pure silver conductor has the tendency of leaching the fired film more readily than conductors containing small amounts of Palladium or Platinum. Many of these situations provide new challenges for the hybrid circuit manufacturer. There is little information available regarding the effects of the lead free solders on low firing silver thick film conductors. This paper discusses the results of newly developed Pb and Cd free silver thick film conductor paste with a modified silver powder metallurgy to improve the leach resistance, solder acceptance and adhesion using the lead free solder. In addition, the pure silver conductor was fired on top of low temperature dielectric paste. This conductor was evaluated by comparing lead free solder alloys to traditional tin lead silver solder alloys. This study included evaluations based on SEM photos, solderability, leach resistance, and initial and long term adhesions. Results are published describing the difference in behavior between the different solder alloys in conjunction with the different silver powder metallurgy. Key words: Thick film, Lead free solder, Tin Lead Silver solder, Silver Conductor
Samson Shahbazi, Sr. Research Scientist
Heraeus Materials Technology LLC
West Conshohocken, PA

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