Applied Surface Science, Vol.258, No.19, 7507-7514, 2012
Effect of surface oxide on the melting behavior of lead-free solder nanowires and nanorods
Lead-free nanosolders have shown promise in nanowire and nanoelectronics assembly. Among various important parameters, melting is the most fundamental property affecting the assembly process. Here we report that the melting behavior of tin and tin/silver nanowires and nanorods can be significantly affected by the surface oxide of nanosolders. By controlling the nanosolder reflow atmosphere using a flux, the surface oxide of the nanowires/nanorods can be effectively removed and complete nanosolder melting can be achieved. The complete melting of the nanosolders leads to the formation of nanoscale to microscale spherical solder balls, followed by Ostwald ripening phenomenon. The contact angle of the microscale solder balls formed on Si substrate was measured by direct electron microscopic imaging. These results provide new insights into micro- and nanoscale phase transition and liquid droplet coalescence from nanowires/nanorods to spheroids, and are relevant to nanoscale assembly and smaller ball grid array formation. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.