With the purpose of developing a feasible approach for measuring the surface tension of solders containing surfactants, the surface tension of Sn–3Ag–0.5Cu–xP solder alloys, with various drop sizes as well as different phosphorus (P) content, was evaluated using the Dorsey method based on the sessile drop test. The results show that the accuracy of the surface tension calculations depends on both of sessile drop size and the liquid metal composition. With a proper drop size, in the range of 4.5 mm to 5.3 mm in equivalent spherical diameters, the deviation of the surface tension calculation can be limited to 1.43 mN·m−1 and 6.30 mN·m−1 for SnAgCu and SnAgCu–P, respectively. The surface tension of SnAgCu–xP solder alloys decreases quickly to a minimum value when the P content reaches 0.5 wt% and subsequently increases slowly with the P content further increasing. The formation of a P-enriched surface layer and Sn4P3 intermetallic phases is regarded to be responsible for the decreasing and subsequent increasing of surface tension, respectively.
Dorsey method Sessile drop SnAgCu solder Surface tension Surfactant
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The authors would like to thank Filipe Neves from National Laboratory of Energy and Geology (LNEG) Lisbon for proofreading the article.
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