Nanocomposite Sn-Bi solders received noticeable attention for flexible electronics due to their improved mechanical properties. The main limitation is the dispersion of nanoparticles in the solder alloy. Accordingly, in this work, varying additions of ZnO nanoparticles were successfully dispersed into Sn57Bi solder via the liquid-state ultrasonic treatment. Nanocomposite solders were prepared using the melting and casting route. The solder alloys were then characterized for microstructure, spreading and mechanical properties. With increasing ZnO addition, the microstructure revealed significant refinement of Bi- and Sn-rich phases. Consequently, the eutectic lamellar spacing also decreases. The spreading improved up to 0.1 wt.% ZnO addition. For higher additions, nanocomposite solders experienced deterioration in spreading characteristics. The tensile strength of the solder increases with an increase in the amount of ZnO nanoparticles. High ductility is achieved for nanocomposite solder containing 0.05 wt.% ZnO. An attempt was made, to explain the effect of increasing ZnO nanoparticle addition on microstructural, spreading, and mechanical properties of Sn57Bi solder.
Keywords: Sn-Bi solder; spreading; tensile test; ultrasonic treatment.
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