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Pressureless Sintering Progression of a Silver Nanoparticle Attach Material Via Micrographic Analysis
Keywords: Die attach, sintering, wide bandgap
Increasing demand for reliable power electronics for harsh environments together with regulations in packaging materials have resulted in new efforts in research and development in this area. Of particular interest is the need of a die attach material that can be processed at a relatively low temperature yet able to withstand the expected high temperature operating conditions. In this work, sintering of silver nanoparticles is examined through the microstructural evolution as a function of processing parameters. Samples of a silver nanoparticle paste were pressureless sintered at 300, 400 and 500 °C in air and argon atmospheres at holding times of 10 and 30 minutes. An image analysis technique, based on a stereological index, was used to analyze SEM micrographs. Results showed a direct correlation between characteristic structural features and the degree of nanoparticle arrangement prior to the sintering stage. Properties of the sintered samples were found to be dictated by structural features as defined by the stereological technique. The initial ordering of the nanopowder within the paste, and the availability of smaller particles acting as satellites were found to be pivotal for the progression of the sintering as observed from the formation of continuous structures at a larger length scale. The development of the stereological index presented in this work is a useful tool to analyze the progression of the sintering mechanism which can lead to a better understanding and control of particle coagulation and coordination which can lead to properties close to that of the bulk material.
Manuel Molina, Graduate Student
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
USA


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