Deformation and fracture of micron-sized metal-coated polymer spheres: an in situ study
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
In situ imaging and analysis of the mechanical behavior of micron‐sized metal‐coated polymer particles under compression is reported. A nanoindentation set‐up mounted in a scanning electron microscope is used to observe the deformation and fracture of 10 μm polymer spheres with Ni, Ni/Au, Au, and Ag coatings. The spheres fracture in one of two metallization‐dependent modes, brittle, and ductile, depending only on the presence of a nickel layer. The metal coating always fractures parallel to the direction of compression. The mechanical properties up to the point of coating fracture are rate‐dependent due to the viscoelastic polymer core. Metal‐coated polymer spheres are an important composite material in electronics packaging, and this study demonstrates a novel method of evaluating the mechanical properties of particles to tailor them for electronic materials.