Increase in Contact Resistance of Hard Gold Plating during Thermal Aging -- Nickel-Hardened Gold and Cobalt-Hardened Gold --


IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E82-C   No.1   pp.13-18
Publication Date: 1999/01/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Electromechanical Devices and Their Materials)
nickel-hardened gold,  cobalt-hardened gold,  contact resistance,  X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy,  aging,  oxide film formation,  

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Contact resistance of nickel hardened gold electroplate (NiHG) deposited on nickel-underplated phosphor bronze disk coupons (substrate) after thermal aging was measured with a hard gold-plated beryllium copper alloy pin probe by means of a four-point probe technique, compared to that of cobalt-hardened gold electroplate (CoHG). Surface of NiHG plated coupons after aging was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) to investigate the influence of the oxide film formation during thermal aging on contact resistance of NiHG electroplate, compared to that of CoHG. Initial contact resistance of the NiHG coupons was less than 10 mΩ at a contact forces more than 0.05 N, increased to 10 mΩ at a contact force of 0.05 N after 100 hours aging at 200. In contrast, contact resistance of the CoHG coupons progressively increased with increase in aging time, reached 1000 mΩ even at a contact force of 0.05 N after 52 hours aging. XPS analysis for the NiHG coupons demonstrated that nickel oxide film was formed on the NiHG surface in conformity with parabolic growth kinetics, as cobalt oxide film formed on CoHG surface. However, a thickness of the latter film was approximately 4-fold larger than that of former after 100 hours aging at 200. The small increase in contact resistance of NiHG coupons after aging suggested to be due to inhibitory of nickel oxide film growth on the surface. The cause of relatively low and steady contact resistance of NiHG during thermal aging was discussed.