Microelectronics Reliability, Vol. 46, Issues 5-6, pp. 846-849, May-June, 2006

Statistical Analysis of tin Whisker Growth

Tong Fang, Michael Osterman, and Michael Pecht,
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


As the result of the global movement to lead-free electronics, companies which assemble semiconductor devices are switching from finishes incorporating lead to pure tin or high tin lead-free alloys. This transition has resulted in a reliability issue, concerning the formation of conductive tin whiskers which can grow across leads of a package and cause current leakage or short circuits. This paper presents the results of an experimental tin whisker growth study of bright tin on brass substrates. A probabilistic model is applied to describe the phenomenon of whisker growth in terms of whisker density, length and growth rate.

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