Understanding and predicting metallic whisker growth and its effects on reliability : LDRD final report.

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Tin (Sn) whiskers are conductive Sn filaments that grow from Sn-plated surfaces, such as surface finishes on electronic packages. The phenomenon of Sn whiskering has become a concern in recent years due to requirements for lead (Pb)-free soldering and surface finishes in commercial electronics. Pure Sn finishes are more prone to whisker growth than their Sn-Pb counterparts and high profile failures due to whisker formation (causing short circuits) in space applications have been documented. At Sandia, Sn whiskers are of interest due to increased use of Pb-free commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts and possible future requirements for Pb-free solders and surface ... continued below

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97 p.

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Michael, Joseph Richard; Grant, Richard P.; Rodriguez, Mark Andrew; Pillars, Jamin; Susan, Donald Francis; McKenzie, Bonnie Beth et al. January 1, 2012.

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Description

Tin (Sn) whiskers are conductive Sn filaments that grow from Sn-plated surfaces, such as surface finishes on electronic packages. The phenomenon of Sn whiskering has become a concern in recent years due to requirements for lead (Pb)-free soldering and surface finishes in commercial electronics. Pure Sn finishes are more prone to whisker growth than their Sn-Pb counterparts and high profile failures due to whisker formation (causing short circuits) in space applications have been documented. At Sandia, Sn whiskers are of interest due to increased use of Pb-free commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) parts and possible future requirements for Pb-free solders and surface finishes in high-reliability microelectronics. Lead-free solders and surface finishes are currently being used or considered for several Sandia applications. Despite the long history of Sn whisker research and the recently renewed interest in this topic, a comprehensive understanding of whisker growth remains elusive. This report describes recent research on characterization of Sn whiskers with the aim of understanding the underlying whisker growth mechanism(s). The report is divided into four sections and an Appendix. In Section 1, the Sn plating process is summarized. Specifically, the Sn plating parameters that were successful in producing samples with whiskers will be reviewed. In Section 2, the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of Sn whiskers and time-lapse SEM studies of whisker growth will be discussed. This discussion includes the characterization of straight as well as kinked whiskers. In Section 3, a detailed discussion is given of SEM/EBSD (electron backscatter diffraction) techniques developed to determine the crystallography of Sn whiskers. In Section 4, these SEM/EBSD methods are employed to determine the crystallography of Sn whiskers, with a statistically significant number of whiskers analyzed. This is the largest study of Sn whisker crystallography ever reported. This section includes a review of previous literature on Sn whisker crystallography. The overall texture of the Sn films was also analyzed by EBSD. Finally, a short Appendix is included at the end of this report, in which the X-Ray diffraction (XRD) results are discussed and compared to the EBSD analyses of the overall textures of the Sn films. Sections 2, 3, and 4 have been or will be submitted as stand-alone papers in peer-reviewed technical journals. A bibliography of recent Sandia Sn whisker publications and presentations is included at the end of the report.

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97 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2012-0519
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/1038184 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1038184
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc833090

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • January 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 7:33 p.m.

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Michael, Joseph Richard; Grant, Richard P.; Rodriguez, Mark Andrew; Pillars, Jamin; Susan, Donald Francis; McKenzie, Bonnie Beth et al. Understanding and predicting metallic whisker growth and its effects on reliability : LDRD final report., report, January 1, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc833090/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.