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Study of Ni as a barrier metal in AuSn soldering application for laser chip/submount assembly

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8 Author(s)
Lee, C.H. ; AT&T Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey 07974, ; Wong, Y.M. ; Doherty, C. ; Tai, K.L.
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The possibility of replacing Pt in the Ti/Pt/Au base and traditionally used metallurgical structure by Ni, while bonding InP laser chip to a submount with AuSn (80% Au) solder, has been investigated. Various Ni‐based metal alloys have been prepared by evaporation. Reflow experiments were conducted in a chamber under forming gas‐controlled ambient. The Ti/Ni/AuSn system provided much longer surface local freezing duration compared to the Ti/Pt/AuSn system. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed a smoother surface morphology for the Ti/Ni/AuSn system after the metal refroze. Auger electron spectroscopy depth profiles indicated the formation of a Ni‐Sn‐Au interacted layer. The interaction took place in two steps: the first stage was the dissolution of Ni into the Au‐Sn liquid followed by precipitation of a Ni‐Sn‐Au intermetallic compound; the second stage was a solid‐state interdiffusion of Sn, Au, and Ni which occured in the interacted layer and in the original Ni layer. The latter step was a diffusion‐controlled process, resulting in a very slow growth rate. Both Au and Sn reacted to form Ni alloy layers of almost equal thickness, regardless of the reaction duration (up to about 5 min). This intensive reaction, however, did not lead to full consumption of the Ti interfacial layer, which provided an excellent adhesion layer between the submount and the metallurgical structure.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:72 ,  Issue: 8 )