Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 5317–5328 | Cite as

Defect structures in solution-grown single crystals of the intermetallic compound Ag3Sn

  • Haibo Yu
  • Yu Sun
  • William R. Meier
  • Paul C. Canfield
  • Christopher R. Weinberger
  • Seok-Woo Lee
  • Mark Aindow


The compound Ag3Sn adopts the ordered orthorhombic D0a Cu3Ti-type structure. It exhibits an unusual low yield stress and high ductility for an intermetallic compound, but the reasons for these effects are not clear. Here, we report an electron microscopy study on the defects present in solution-grown Ag3Sn single crystals that have deformed during the decanting and subsequent handling processes. It is found that the crystals contain two types of lenticular deformation twins: {011}-type and {211}-type. These twins interpenetrate with no evidence of cracking at the intersections. The crystals also contain high densities of dislocations including long straight dipoles with b = ± [010] and shorter curved segments and loops with b = [\( 10\bar{2} \)] and [001]. It is inferred that the dipoles are artifacts of specimen preparation that climb in from the cross-sectional sample surfaces, whereas the shorter segments are deformation debris. If a combination of twinning and dislocation glide of the types observed here were to form concurrently during general deformation of Ag3Sn, then they could provide the necessary number of independent deformation modes to accommodate an arbitrary plastic strain, which might help to explain the unusual ductility of this compound.



This work was supported in part by a research grant from GE Industrial Solutions under a GE-UConn partnership agreement and by the award of a GE Graduate Fellowship to Haibo Yu. Portions of this work were performed using the facilities in the UConn/Thermo Fisher Scientific Center for Advanced Microscopy and Materials Analysis (CAMMA). The sample growth was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering. The growth was performed at the Ames Laboratory. Ames Laboratory is operated for the US Department of Energy by Iowa State University under Contract No. DE-AC02-07CH11358. William Meier is funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s EPiQS Initiative through Grant GBMF4411.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Institute of Materials ScienceUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Ames Laboratory and Department of Physics and AstronomyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Advanced Materials DiscoveryColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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