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Materials 2017, 10(8), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10080932

Effects of Bi Addition on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Nanocrystalline Ag Coatings

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Jiangsu University of Science and Technology, Zhenjiang 212003, Jiangsu, China
2
Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, the University of Auckland, PB 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
3
Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352, USA
4
Energy and Transportation Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 1 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 5 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
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Abstract

In this study we investigated the effects of Bi addition on the microstructure and mechanical properties of an electrodeposited nanocrystalline Ag coating. Microstructural features were investigated with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results indicate that the addition of Bi introduced nanometer-scale Ag-Bi solid solution particles and more internal defects to the initial Ag microstructures. The anisotropic elastic-plastic properties of the Ag nanocrystalline coating with and without Bi addition were examined with nanoindentation experiments in conjunction with the recently-developed inverse method. The results indicate that the as-deposited nanocrystalline Ag coating contained high mechanical anisotropy. With the addition of 1 atomic percent (at%) Bi, the anisotropy within Ag-Bi coating was very small, and yield strength of the nanocrystalline Ag-Bi alloy in both longitudinal and transverse directions were improved by over 100% compared to that of Ag. On the other hand, the strain-hardening exponent of Ag-Bi was reduced to 0.055 from the original 0.16 of the Ag coating. Furthermore, the addition of Bi only slightly increased the electrical resistivity of the Ag-Bi coating in comparison to Ag. Results of our study indicate that Bi addition is a promising method for improving the mechanical and physical performances of Ag coating for electrical contacts. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrodeposited nanocrystalline Ag; Bi addition; microstructure; nanoindentation; mechanical properties; electrical conductivity electrodeposited nanocrystalline Ag; Bi addition; microstructure; nanoindentation; mechanical properties; electrical conductivity
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Wang, Y.; Cheng, G.; Tay, S.L.; Guo, Y.; Sun, X.; Gao, W. Effects of Bi Addition on the Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Nanocrystalline Ag Coatings. Materials 2017, 10, 932.

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