Special Issue "Environmentally-Induced Failures of Electronic Grade Alloys and Coatings"

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Corrosion and Materials Degradation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Balázs Illés
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronics Technology, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Interests: soldering; heat and mass transfer; reliability; metallurgy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Electronic-grade alloys are used in numerous electronic devices and systems, e.g., for interconnections, anodes, wires, surface coatings, fuel cells, batteries, solar cells, packaging, and lids. Electronic systems—like IoT devices, communications networks, autonomous cars, sensors, and actuators—are becoming more important in our everyday lives. Consequently, electronic-grade alloys should exhibit excellent mechanical, electrical, thermal, and reliability properties. This initiates the continuous development and preparation of new alloys via the use of novel techniques, like mechanical-, micro-, and composite-alloying, which belong to a rapidly evolving multidisciplinary research field combining metallurgy, chemistry, and physics.

In many fields, electronic devices need to operate in harsh environments, so not only the quality but the long-term reliability of the applied alloys is also critical. There is a strong need to investigate the environmentally induced failure mechanisms in these alloys, like corrosion, intermetallic formation, and microstructural changes, and their effects on alloy properties, which affect the life-time of electronic devices, and for examining the possible surface preservation methods of the applied material systems against the most frequent failure mechanisms like oxidation, dendrite, and whisker growth. 

This Special Issue is dedicated to disseminating the recent advancements and latest results in this rapidly evolving interdisciplinary research field. We invite colleagues to contribute to this Special Issue in the aforementioned topics and keywords with full papers, short communications, and reviews. The Special Issue focuses on electronic-grade alloys, but other related topics are also welcome!  

Dr. Balázs Illés
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Electronic-grade alloys
  • Coatings and surface preservation
  • Microstructure
  • Corrosion
  • Dendrites and whiskers
  • Alloy properties
  • Allotrope transition
  • Soldering and packaging
  • Fuel cells and batteries
  • Solar cells.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Preparation of Hydrogen Electrodes of Solid Oxide Cells by Infiltration: Effects of the Preparation Procedure on the Resulting Microstructure
Materials 2020, 13(1), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13010131 - 27 Dec 2019
Abstract
In this work, the infiltration technique was used to produce hydrogen electrodes for solid oxide cells. Different infiltration methodologies were tested in order to try to shorten the infiltration cycle time. The porous scaffolds used for infiltration were based on highly porous yttria-stabilized [...] Read more.
In this work, the infiltration technique was used to produce hydrogen electrodes for solid oxide cells. Different infiltration methodologies were tested in order to try to shorten the infiltration cycle time. The porous scaffolds used for infiltration were based on highly porous yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) obtained by etching the reduced nickel from the Ni-YSZ cermet in HNO3 acid. The support had a complex structure which included a ~130 µm porous functional layer with small pores and a ~320 µm thick supporting layer with large pores. Infiltrations have been carried out using aqueous nickel nitrate solutions. Various infiltration procedures were used, differing in temperature/time profiles. The results show that slow evaporation is crucial for obtaining a homogeneous material distribution leading to high-quality samples. A longer evaporation time promotes the proper distribution of nickel throughout the porous scaffold. The shortening of the heat treatment procedure leads to blockage of the pores and not-uniform nickel distribution. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Cu Substrate Roughness and Sn Layer Thickness on Whisker Development from Sn Thin-Films
Materials 2019, 12(21), 3609; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12213609 - 03 Nov 2019
Abstract
The effect of copper substrate roughness and tin layer thickness were investigated on whisker development in the case of Sn thin-films. Sn was vacuum-evaporated onto both unpolished and mechanically polished Cu substrates with 1 µm and 2 μm average layer thicknesses. The samples [...] Read more.
The effect of copper substrate roughness and tin layer thickness were investigated on whisker development in the case of Sn thin-films. Sn was vacuum-evaporated onto both unpolished and mechanically polished Cu substrates with 1 µm and 2 μm average layer thicknesses. The samples were stored in room conditions for 60 days. The considerable stress—developed by the rapid intermetallic layer formation—resulted in intensive whisker formation, even in some days after the layer deposition. The developed whiskers and the layer structure underneath them were investigated with both scanning electron microscopy and ion microscopy. The Sn thin-film deposited onto unpolished Cu substrate produced less but longer whiskers than that deposited onto polished Cu substrate. This phenomenon might be explained by the dependence of IML formation on the surface roughness of substrates. The formation of IML wedges is more likely on rougher Cu substrates than on polished ones. Furthermore, it was found that with the decrease of layer thickness, the development of nodule type whiskers increases due to the easier diffusion of other atoms into the whisker bodies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mechanism Understanding of the Role of Rare Earth Inclusions in the Initial Marine Corrosion Process of Microalloyed Steels
Materials 2019, 12(20), 3359; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12203359 - 15 Oct 2019
Abstract
In this study, the corrosion behavior of rare earth (RE) microalloyed steels was first evaluated through potentiodynamic polarization tests and corrosion weight loss experiments, and then the corrosion morphologies were observed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). After immersion in a NaCl solution, the [...] Read more.
In this study, the corrosion behavior of rare earth (RE) microalloyed steels was first evaluated through potentiodynamic polarization tests and corrosion weight loss experiments, and then the corrosion morphologies were observed by scanning electron microscope (SEM). After immersion in a NaCl solution, the sulfides (or oxygen sulfides) dissolved preferentially, followed by corrosion at the boundary between the Fe matrix and oxides. Afterwards, the inclusions fell off as a whole, which promoted pitting nucleation. The first principle modeling demonstrated that the work functions of various kinds of inclusions descended in the following order: La2Zr2O7 > LaAlO3 > (La2O3 ≈ Fe ≈ La2O2S) > La2S3, which provided a theoretical explanation to the dissolution behaviors of inclusions. That is, inclusions containing sulfur tend to dissolve preferentially, whereas the oxides do not dissolve easily. Subsequently, the surface current distributions were detected by the scanning vibrating electrode technique (SVET), which provided more microscopic insight into the role of inclusions in the corrosion propagation. Results showed that the active sites of pitting nucleation accelerated the transverse propagation of corrosion. Finally, local corrosion spread to the whole surface as uniform corrosion. Full article
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