Factors Governing Tin Whisker Growth

  • Erika R Crandall

Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Erika R. Crandall
    Pages 25-66
  3. Erika R. Crandall
    Pages 67-105
  4. Erika R. Crandall
    Pages 107-123
  5. Erika R. Crandall
    Pages 125-131
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 133-136

About this book


Tin (Sn) whiskers are electrically conductive, single crystal eruptions that grow from Sn film surfaces. Their high aspect ratio presents reliability problems for the electronics industry due to bridging and metal arcing, leading to malfunctions and catastrophic failures in many electronic systems (including satellite and defense sectors). Due to legislation in the EU, Japan, and the U.S., mandating a gradual shift from lead (Pb)-based to lead-free solders and board finishes, there has been a reemergence of Sn whiskers. Continuing reports of Sn whisker induced failures coupled with the lack of an industry-accepted understanding of whisker growth and/or test methods to identify whisker prone products has made pure/high Sn substitutes a risky proposition in high reliability systems.

This thesis is designed to clarify and control the fundamental mechanisms that govern whisker formation. The research focuses on reproducible "laboratory" created whiskers under a variety of rigorously controlled environmental factors such as film thickness, film stress, substrate material, gas environment, and humidity exposure, which are known to play a significant role in whisker production. The ultimate question of how to impede and/or prevent whisker growth is also addressed and shows that whisker prevention is possible via hard metal capping films, which are impenetrable by whiskers.


Effects of Whisker Growth Electronics Reliability Film and Substrate Effects on Whisker Growth Metal Whiskering Preventing Arcing Preventing Short Circuits Preventing Whisker Growth Sn Whiskers Whisker Mitigation Whisker Prevention Whisker Statistics on Ultra-Thin Sn Films

Authors and affiliations

  • Erika R Crandall
    • 1
  1. 1.Auburn UniversityAuburnUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-00469-3
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-00470-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2190-5053
  • Series Online ISSN 2190-5061
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors