IMAPS Advanced Technology Workshop on High Reliability Microelectronics for Military Applications, Linthicum Heights, MD, May 17-19, 2011

Effectiveness of Conformal Coatings on Surface Mount Components as Tin Whisker Mitigation

Sungwon Han, Curtis Johnson, Michael Osterman, Michael Pecht
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE),
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20740, USA


- Conformal coating is considered to be a mitigation strategy to address the failure risk presented by tin whiskers. While various conformal coatings have been shown to be effective on whiskering tin plated coupons, the effectiveness of conformal coating on actual assembly hardware has not been adequately examined. In this study, sets of assembled quad flat packages were conformally coated and evaluated for tin whisker mitigation as well as the coating coverage. Six coating materials were examined. Whisker growth was examined after specimens were subjected sequential to temperature cyclings, corrosive gases and temperature and humidity conditions. Whiskers were observed on coated surfaces that had relative thin layer of coating. Paralyne C coating was found to be the most effective coating at whisker mitigation in terms of overall coating cover-age and containing whiskers.

Keywords: Tin whisker, Conformal coating, Quad Flat Package (QFPs)

Complete article is available from publisher and to the CALCE Consortium Members.

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