A reliable and robust diffusion barrier, commonly known as under bump metallisation (UBM), is indispensable in solder interconnects in order to retard the interfacial reaction rate, hence the growth of intermetallic compounds (IMCs). However, electroless Ni-P coatings are not adequate to inhibit interfacial reactions effectively since the formation of columnar structure and voids in the crystalline Ni3P layer in hybrid automotive devices (operating temperature above 300ºC) can significantly deteriorate the mechanical integrity of solder joints. In this thesis, electroless Ni-W-P coatings, as an effective UBM capable to serving under high temperature (up to 450ºC), are developed, characterised and subsequently applied onto the high temperature lead-free solder interconnects. [Continues.]
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.