In this study, variations in the contact resistance of electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers with Fe content were investigated. The contact resistance of electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers that were subject to thermal aging at 260°C in the atmosphere, tended to increase significantly with an increase in the Fe content. Through an analysis method employing X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/ ESCA) and Auger electron spectroscopy (AES), Ni oxides, such as NiO and Ni2O3, on the surface of the thermally aged electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers were observed. It is believed that the Ni oxide existing on the surface diffused from the underlying electroplated Ni layers to the surface through the grain boundaries in the electroplated Au-Fe layers during the thermal aging. As the Fe content in the electroplated Au-Fe layers increased, the grain size decreased. As the grain size decreases, more Ni oxide was detected on the surface. Therefore, with a rise in the Fe content, more Ni diffuses to the surface via grain boundaries, and more Ni oxide is formed on the surface of the electroplated Au-Fe layers, increasing the contact resistance of the electroplated Au-Fe alloy layers.
In this study, the effect of electroless Pd-P plating on the bonding strength of the Bi-Te thermoelectric elements was investigated. The bonding strength was approximately doubled by electroless Pd-P plating. Brittle Sn-Te intermetallic compounds were formed on the bonding interface of the thermoelectric elements without electroless Pd-P plating, and the fracture of the bond originated from these intermetallic compounds. A Pd-Sn solder reaction layer with a thickness of approximately 20 µm was formed under the Pd-P plating layer in the case of the electroless Pd-P plating, and prevented the diffusion of Bi and Te. In addition, the fracture did not occur on the bonding interface but in the thermoelectric elements for the electroless Pd-P plating because the bonding strength of the Pd-Sn reaction layer was higher than the shear strength of the thermoelectric elements.
Trace elements Co, Cr were added to investigate their influence on the microstructure and physical properties of Al-Si extruded alloy. The Co, Cr elements were randomly distributed in the matrix, forms intermetallic phase and their existence were confirmed by XRD, EDS and SEM analysis. With addition of trace elements, the microstructure was modified, Si particle size was reduced and the growth rate of β-(Al5FeSi) phase limited. Compared to parent alloy, hardness and tensile strength were enhanced while the linear coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) was significantly reduced by 42.4% and 16.05% with Co and Cr addition respectively. It is considered that the low CTE occurs with addition of Co was due to the formation of intermetallic compound having low coefficient of thermal expansion. The results suggested that Co acts as an effective element in improving the mechanical properties of Al-Si alloy.