Au-Ge alloys are promising materials for high-power and high-frequency packaging, and Ni is frequently used as diffusion barriers. This study investigates interfacial reactions in Au-12Ge/Ni joints at 300°C and 400°C. For the reactions at 300°C, typical interfacial morphology was observed and the diffusion path was (Au) + (Ge)/NiGe/Ni5Ge 3/Ni. However, an interesting phenomenon-the formation of (Au,Ni,Ge)/NiGe alternating layers-was observed for the reactions at 400°C. The diffusion path across the interface was liquid/(Au,Ni,Ge)/NiGe/ ···/(Au,Ni,Ge)/NiGe/Ni2Ge/Ni. The periodic thermodynamic instability at the NiGe/Ni2Ge interface caused the subsequent nucleation of new (Au,Ni,Ge)/NiGe pairs. The thermodynamic foundation and mechanism of formation of the alternating layers are elaborated in this paper.
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