Green Nanosolder Paste for Next-Generation Electronics Assembly and Manufacturing

EPA Grant Number: SU835710
Title: Green Nanosolder Paste for Next-Generation Electronics Assembly and Manufacturing
Investigators: Gu, Zhiyong , Fratto, Edward , Gao, Fan , Wernicki, Evan
Institution: University of Massachusetts - Lowell
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $15,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals , P3 Awards , Sustainability


As electronic devices are getting smaller, lighter, and smarter, new assembling and packaging techniques are needed to integrate and accommodate all electronic components in a single device. Nano-soldering is an enabling technology to integrate smaller components in next generation electronics assembly and manufacturing processes. This project focuses on developing a green lead-free and halogen-free nanosolder paste by using Sn/Ag/Cu (SAC) nanoparticles to replace the conventional solder paste, which is composed of toxic and hazardous materials, including micron sized tin-lead solder balls and halogen-based flux material. The lead-free solder nanoparticles may have decreased melting temperature, which can potentially lower the electronic manufacturing temperatures and make the soldering process more energy efficient.


In phase I of this project, the multidisciplinary team will develop a lead-free and halogen-free nanosolder paste and explore their mechanical property and potential applications. First, the team will focus on the synthesis and characterization of the lead-free SAC nanoparticles as the basic material for the green nanosolder paste. Secondly, the SAC nanoparticles will be mixed with halogen-free solvent to develop the nanosolder paste formulation. Thirdly, a printing stencil will be used to print nanosolder paste, which consists of much smaller solder balls and may have different rheological property. Finally, the printed nanosolder paste will be reflowed and the mechanical strength of the smaller nanosolder joints will be tested.

Expected Results:

A green nanosolder paste with lower melting temperature and better or equivalent mechanical strength is expected to be developed. The results obtained from this project will help reduce the usage of both lead and halogen based toxic materials and save energy for the electronics manufacturing processes. The knowledge gained from the project will be disseminated to industrial partners and technical communities, through seminars, conference presentations, and journal publications. The new knowledge will also be integrated into undergraduate and graduate engineering curriculum, through lab demos, lectures, and student design projects.

Supplemental Keywords:

Green chemistry, Environmentally-benign substitute, Toxic use reduction, Energy conservation, Nanoelectronics assembly and packaging, Ball grid arrays (BGAs)

Relevant Websites:

P3 Phase 2: Green Nanosolder Paste for Next Generation Electronics Assembly and Manufacturing

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final
  • P3 Phase II:

    Green Nanosolder Paste for Next Generation Electronics Assembly and Manufacturing  | 2016 Progress Report  | 2017 Progress Report