Quantifying Isothermal Solidification Kinetics during Transient Liquid Phase Bonding using Differential Scanning Calorimetry
The problem of inaccurate measurement techniques for quantifying isothermal solidification kinetics during transient liquid phase (TLP) bonding in binary and ternary systems; and resulting uncertainty in the accuracy of analytical and numerical models has been addressed by the development of a new technique using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). This has enabled characterization of the process kinetics in binary and ternary solid/liquid diffusion couples resulting in advancement of the fundamental theoretical understanding of the mechanics of isothermal solidification. The progress of isothermal solidification was determined by measuring the fraction of liquid remaining after an isothermal hold period of varying length. A 'TLP half sample', or a solid/liquid diffusion couple was setup in the sample crucible of a DSC enabling measurement of the heat flow relative to a reference crucible containing a mass of base metal. A comparison of the endotherm from melting of an interlayer with the exotherm from solidification of the residual liquid gives the fraction of liquid remaining. The Ag-Cu and Ag-Au-Cu systems were employed in this study. Metallurgical techniques were used to compliment the DSC results. The effects of sample geometry on the DSC trace have been characterized. The initial interlayer composition, the heating rate, the reference crucible contents, and the base metal coating must be considered in development of the experimental parameters. Furthermore, the effects of heat conduction into the base metal, baseline shift across the initial melting endotherm, and the exclusion of primary solidification upon cooling combine to systematically reduce the measured fraction of liquid remaining. These effects have been quantified using a modified temperature program, and corrected using a universal factor. A comparison of the experimental results with the predictions of various analytical solutions for isothermal solidification reveals that the moving interface solution can accurately predict the interface kinetics given accurate diffusion data. The DSC method has been used to quantify the process kinetics of isothermal solidification in a ternary alloy system, with results compared to a finite difference model for interface motion. The DSC results show a linear relationship between the interface position and the square root of the isothermal hold time. While the numerical simulations do not agree well with the experimental interface kinetics due to a lack of accurate thermodynamic data, the model does help develop an understanding of the isothermal solidification mechanics. Compositional shift at the solid/liquid interface has been measured experimentally and compared with predictions. The results show that the direction of tie-line shift can be predicted using numerical techniques. Furthermore, tie-line shift has been observed in the DSC results. This study has shown that DSC is an accurate and valuable tool in the development of parameters for processes employing isothermal solidification, such as TLP bonding.