Cu6Sn5 is an important intermetallic for electric interconnects and anode material of Li-ion batteries, with a polymorphic transformation from hexagonal eta-Cu6Sn5 at temperatures higher than 186 °C to monoclinic eta′-Cu6Sn5 at lower temperatures. The polymorphic transformation of Cu6Sn5 has the potential to generate internal stresses in soldered joints during both the soldering process and subsequent device operation involving thermal cycling. Here we developed a systematic method to characterise the polymorphic transformations at localised points in a single grain of Cu6Sn5 that is in intimate contact with adjacent Sn rich and Cu3Sn phases to establish a time–temperature transformation (TTT) diagram of the eta to eta′-Cu6Sn5 transformation. The method involves in situ temperature-controlled high-voltage transmission electron microscopy (HVTEM) of a single-targeted Cu6Sn5 grain with observation of diffraction patterns during multiple heating and cooling experiments on a 0.5 μm thick sample made by focused ion beam milling (FIB). The results are compared to previously reported powder X-ray diffraction data. It is concluded that there is good agreement between both techniques and the transformations observed in the powder are representative of those in individual grains present in polycrystalline structures. Based on the newly developed TTT, it was established that the high-temperature eta-Cu6Sn5 could be stablised down to room temperature if the cooling rate exceeded 20 °C min−1.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering