Concurrent nucleation, formation and growth of two intermetallic compounds (Cu6Sn5 and Cu3Sn) during the early stages of lead-free soldering
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This study investigates the concurrent nucleation, formation and growth of two intermetallic compounds (IMCs), Cu 6Sn 5 () and Cu 3Sn (), during the early stages of soldering in the Cu-Sn system. The nucleation, formation and growth of the IMC layers is simulated through a multiphase-field model [1,2] in which the concurrent nucleation of both IMC phases is considered to be a stochastic Poisson process with nucleation rates calculated from classical nucleation theory . CALPHAD thermodynamic models are used to calculate the local contributions to the free energy of the system and the driving forces for precipitation of the IMC phases. The nucleation parameters of the phase are estimated from experimental results  and those of the phase are assumed to be similar. A parametric investigation of the effects of model parameters (e.g. grain boundary (GB) diffusion rates, interfacial and GB energies) on morphological evolution and IMC layer growth rate is presented and compared with previous works in which nucleation was ignored . In addition, the resulting growth rates are compared with the available literature and it is found that, for a certain range in the model parameters, the agreement is quite satisfactory. This work provides valuable insight into the dominant mechanisms for mass transport as well as morphological evolution and growth of IMC layers during early stages of Pb-free soldering. 2011 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.