J. Phys. IV France 125 (2005) 265-268
Thermal diffusivity of lead-free solders measured by photothermal beam deflection. Effect of the surrounding mediaP. Prior1, A. Gören1, F. Macedo1, J.A. Ferreira1 and D. Soares2
1 Departamento de Física, Universidade do Minho, Campus Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
2 Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica, Universidade do Minho, Campus Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
The search for lead-free alloys has increased markedly in recent years, as new environmental regulations have been approved. In particular, traditional solders used in the microelectronics industry are now being gradually replaced by new lead-free materials.
In this work, we report measurements of the thermal properties of new Sn-based alloys with varying contents of Bi, Al, Ag and Cu, which have been developed as alternatives to the traditional lead-based solders used in microelectronic assemblies.
Measurements of thermal diffusivity were performed using the photothermal beam deflection  (PBD) technique. We tested the influence of the surrounding media in the quality of the measurements. We found out that the sensitivity can be greatly improved using as surrounding medium fluids with very low thermal diffusivities and high refractive index change with temperature (n /T ).
Although a more general physical characterisation of the lead-free alloys, concerning measurements of electrical resistivity, mechanical properties and structural characterisation, is still under way, these thermal measurements combined with information about the electrical resistivity show that these alloys can be good alternatives for soldering applications.
© EDP Sciences 2005