What is it about?

The effect of benzotriazole (BTA) on the corrosion behavior of brazing Cu-Ag alloy in deionized water was investigated using corrosion potential measurements, potentiodynamic polarization and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Pure Cu, pure Ag and a high Cu alloy were included for comparison. The electrochemical responses show that BTA shifts the corrosion potential of Cu to the noble direction but has the opposite effect for Ag and a mixed behavior for the Cu-Ag alloys. The inhibition efficiency of BTA for Cu and high Cu alloy reached around 95% but was significantly lower for Ag and the brazing Cu-Ag alloy. XPS results show the formation of Cu- and Ag-BTA complexes through the N tail of BTA. The lower inhibition efficiency of Ag and brazing alloy can be attributed to the weak adsorption of BTA on the Ag phase leading to lower corrosion protection of Ag.

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Why is it important?

Supercomputing and data center facilities are employing water-cooling systems where a Cu plate with Cu water channels and fins is attached to central processing unit (CPU), for heat dissipation. The Cu fins are sandwiched between two Cu plates and are brazed using Cu-Ag eutectic. This is a system that is emerging as the most viable technology for this industry. These facilities require the use of typically over 2000 CPUs for parallel computing and they are cooled by a closed deionized (DI) circulating water system. Even with exercising various corrosion protection strategies including the use of benzotriazole (BTA) for inhibition, corrosion is not prevented, and the inhibitor is not highly effective in protecting the device. This poses serious concern to the information technology industry as future computing facilities that have planned to be built with water cooling systems can face reliability issues. This study investigated the involved mechanisms for the failure of the system and found out about the interaction of Cu-Ag alloy with BTA in DI water under different conditions.

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This page is a summary of: Corrosion study of brazing Cu Ag alloy in the presence of benzotriazole inhibitor, Applied Surface Science, August 2019, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2019.143759.
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