Soldering and diffusion bonding each have benefits and drawbacks. Solders are capable of bridging joints of irregular geometry but the joints tend to have significant void levels if they are of large area. Erosion of joint surfaces and embrittlement through interalloying with parent materials represent additional weaknesses. Diffusion bonding avoids these problems, but it is not as tolerant to rough mating surfaces and joint quality is highly sensitive to the cleanliness of the surfaces. This type of process usually requires the application of high loads. A hybrid of these two methods of joining known as diffusion soldering combines the merits of both. The metallurgical principles and some features of diffusion soldering are outlined, with reference to the silver/indium and silver/tin systems. The benefits of applying diffusion soldering processes to the fabrication of assemblies in the electronics industry are explained.
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