Interfacial reactions between diffusion barriers and thermoelectric materials under current stressing

Li Chen Lo, Albert T. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study investigates the stability of the interfaces between an n-type thermoelectric material, Bi2Te3, and pure tin solders in a thermoelectric module. The module was stressed by a current at elevated temperatures. A map of the failure criteria of the module was constructed. Ni was used as the diffusion barrier between the solder and the thermoelectric materials, but it reacted with these materials and formed intermetallic compound (IMC) layers. The phase transformation of the IMC layers formed voids at the interfaces and reduced the strength of the joints. Current stressing promoted the formation of IMC. The kinetics of the compound growth was studied. The results suggested that the formation of NiTe IMC was successfully inhibited, but the Bi4Te5 compound grew from an infinitely adaptive series of (Bi2)m(Bi2Te3)n because of the depletion of Te.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3325-3330
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
Volume41
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Bismuth telluride
  • Electroless nickel
  • Electromigration
  • Thermoelectric material

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