Sn-Bi solder with different Bi content can realize a low-to-medium-to-high soldering process. To obtain the effect of Bi content in Sn-Bi solder on the microstructure of solder, interfacial behaviors in solder joints with Cu and the joints strength, five Sn-Bi solders including Sn-5Bi and Sn-15Bi solid solution, Sn-30Bi and Sn-45Bi hypoeutectic and Sn-58Bi eutectic were selected in this work. The microstructure, interfacial reaction under soldering and subsequent aging and the shear properties of Sn-Bi solder joints were studied. Bi content in Sn-Bi solder had an obvious effect on the microstructure and the distribution of Bi phases. Solid solution Sn-Bi solder was composed of the β-Sn phases embedded with fine Bi particles, while hypoeutectic Sn-Bi solder was composed of the primary β-Sn phases and Sn-Bi eutectic structure from networked Sn and Bi phases, and eutectic Sn-Bi solder was mainly composed of a eutectic structure from short striped Sn and Bi phases. During soldering with Cu, the increase on Bi content in Sn-Bi solder slightly increased the interfacial Cu6
intermetallic compound (IMC)thickness, gradually flattened the IMC morphology, and promoted the accumulation of more Bi atoms to interfacial Cu6
IMC. During the subsequent aging, the growth rate of the IMC layer at the interface of Sn-Bi solder/Cu rapidly increased from solid solution Sn-Bi solder to hypoeutectic Sn-Bi solder, and then slightly decreased for Sn-58Bi solder joints. The accumulation of Bi atoms at the interface promoted the rapid growth of interfacial Cu6
IMC layer in hypoeutectic or eutectic Sn-Bi solder through blocking the formation of Cu6
in solder matrix and the transition from Cu6
Sn. Ball shear tests on Sn-Bi as-soldered joints showed that the increase of Bi content in Sn-Bi deteriorated the shear strength of solder joints. The addition of Bi into Sn solder was also inclined to produce brittle morphology with interfacial fracture, which suggests that the addition of Bi increased the shear resistance strength of Sn-Bi solder.
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