Microelectronics Reliability, Vol. 47, Issue 1, pp. 88-92, January, 2007

The Impact of Electrical Current, Mechanical Bending, and Thermal Annealing on Tin Whisker Growth

Yuki Fukuda, Michael Osterman, Michael Pecht,
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


This paper presents the results of an eight-month design-of-experiment assessment of whisker growth on bright and matte tin-plated copper, mechanically deformed and unformed coupons, subject to a continuous 50oC/50%RH environment, with and without the presence of a constant electrical current density magnitude of 0.48x102A/cm2. Whiskers were observed to grow both at the anode and cathode end. The distribution-based data showed a reduction in whisker density due to annealing and/or the application of electrical current for both bright and matte tin. However, the application of electrical current was observed to increase the standard deviation of the length distribution, and to generate longer whiskers.

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