Abstract

Contrary to known art, we have discovered that lubricated tin-silver connectors have better electrical performance and are more reliable than lubricated silver-silver connectors under high-current and high-vibration conditions. The antifretting lubricant, that enhances the performance and reliability of the tin-silver connectors, is a grease consisting of a hydrocarbon oil in a nano-sized silica-particle base. Focused ion beam and scanning electron microscopy were used to understand the contact degradation mechanism. The superior electrical performance and reliability of the lubricated tin-silver connectors is due to a mechanism that replaces the tin plating from the contact surface with a coating of silver. The removal of the tin plating may be due to wear and the replacement by the silver coating may be due to an electrochemical displacement reaction.

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