Aleksandra Fortier and Michael G. Pecht
The problem of tin (Sn) whiskers has been a significant reliability issue in electronics for the past several decades. Despite the large amount of research conducted on this issue, the growth of whiskers remains a challenge for the research community. A comparative study of different metal whiskers could provide a deeper insight toward the development of more permanent mitigation strategies for Sn whisker growth. In this paper, the surface and micro-structural evolution of various film/substrate combinations of 10-µm thick zinc (Zn) and Sn metal films and their affinity for whisker growth were observed under two environmental conditions – ambient temperature and elevated temperature of 55 °C and 85% humidity. The films were analysed using a scanning electron microscope, focused ion beam, and electron dispersive spectroscope. In addition, several decades aged samples with Zn, Sn, and cadmium films with a high density population of whiskers were observed for comparison.
Complete article is available from the publisher and to the CALCE consortium members.
© IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.