In this study, a novel architecture composed of uniformly distributed high melting phase (HMP, e.g. Cu) in a low melting phase (LMP, e.g. In) matrix, which can be produced via liquid phase sintering (LPS), is proposed to produce next generation thermal interface materials (TIMs) and interconnect (IC) materials. The LMP determines the shear compliance of these composites whereas the HMP determines its thermal and electrical conductivities. The volume fraction of In was optimized to produce a Cu-In solder with suitable mechanical, electrical and thermal properties for TIM and IC applications. Since, Cu and In react to form several Cu-In intermetallic compounds (IMCs), which may deteriorate the long-term performance of these solders, interfacial-layers of Au and Al2O3 were applied on Cu to further improve the performance of the Cu-In solders. The effect of interfacial-layers on the reaction between Cu and In, during sintering at 160°C and during aging at 125°C, was studied and its impact on the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties was evaluated. Au interfacial layer (50∼200nm) quickly reacted with In to form AuIn2 IMC, which acted as a tenacious diffusion-barrier and slowed down the reactions between Cu and In. 8-monolayer thick Al2O3 did not react with either Cu or In and inhibited reactions between Cu and In. During short-time sintering, the effect of interfacial layer on the thicknesses of IMCs was insignificant to affect the yield strength of the as-sintered composites. However, IMC layer thickened rapidly in the Cu-In composites without an interfacial-layer, which led to a drastic decrease in the volume fraction of unreacted In leading to an increase in the yield strength of the solder. On the other hand, the interfacial-layers effectively suppressed the growth of IMCs during aging and hence the yield strength of such composites increased at slower rates. Since, the IMCs formed at the interface radically affect the contact resistance, significant differences in the thermal and electrical conductivities were recorded for the solders with different interfacial-layers.

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