For microelectronics used in the low-temperature applications, the understanding of their reliability and performance has become an important research subject characterised as electronics to serve under the severe or extreme service conditions. Along with the impact from the increased miniaturization of devices, the various properties and the relevant thermo-mechanical response of the interconnection materials to temperature excursion at micro-scale become a critical factor which can affect the reliable performance of microelectronics in various applications. Pure indium as an excellent interconnection material has been used in pixellated detector systems, which are required to be functional at cryogenic temperatures. This thesis presents an extensive investigation into the thermo-mechanical properties of indium joints as a function of microstructure, strain (loading histories-dependent) and temperature (service condition-sensitive), specifically in the areas as follows: (i) the interfacial reactions and evolution between indium and substrate during the reflow process (liquid-solid) and thermal aging (solid-solid) stages by taking low-temperature cycling into account; (ii) determination of the effects of joint thickness and the types of substrate (e.g. Cu or Ni) on the mechanical properties of indium joints, and the stress- and temperature-dependent creep behaviour of indium joints; (iii) the establishment of a constitutive relationship for indium interconnects under a wide range of homologous temperature changes that was subsequently implemented into an FE model to allow the analysis of the evolution of thermally-induced stresses and strains associated with a hybrid pixel detector.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.