The formation of intermetallic compounds (IMC) and its effects at the interface between different metals has always been of interest for the electronics industry, contacts manufacturers and users.
The purpose of this work is primarily to develop an in situ technique of thermally aging metallic samples within the vacuum chamber of a scanning electron microscope (SEM).
This setup enables ongoing observation of the formation and growth of intermetallic compounds within the chamber.
Due to the amount of data available in literature, copper-tin specimens were chosen as a basis to validate the technique.
Once the samples were thermally aged, energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analyses as well as electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) were done on the surfaces.
Ex situ nano-indentation measurements were also performed on the IMC. Results have shown that the IMC formation can be observed while aging within a SEM chamber.