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Title: The effect of electroplating parameters and substrate material on tin whisker formation
Authors: Ashworth, Mark A.
Wilcox, G.D.
Higginson, Rebecca L.
Heath, R.J.
Liu, Changqing
Mortimer, Roger J.
Keywords: Tin Whisker growth
Electrodeposition
Intermetallic formation
Characterisation
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: © The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Citation: ASHWORTH, M.A. ... et al., 2015. The effect of electroplating parameters and substrate material on tin whisker formation. Microelectronics Reliability, 55, pp. 180 - 191.
Abstract: Electroplated tin finishes are widely used in the electronics industry due to their excellent solderability, electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. However, the spontaneous growth of tin whiskers during service can result in localised electrical shorting or other harmful effects. Until recently, the growth of tin whiskers was successfully mitigated by alloying the tin with lead. However, restriction in the use of lead in electronics as a result of EU legislation (RoHS) has led to renewed interest in finding a successful alternative mitigation strategy. Whisker formation has been investigated for a bright tin electrodeposit to determine whether whisker growth can, at least partially, be mitigated by control of electroplating parameters such as deposition current density and deposit thickness. The influence of substrate material and storage at 55 C/85% humidity on whisker growth have also been investigated. Whisker growth studies indicate that deposition parameters have a significant effect on both whisker density and whisker morphology. As deposition current density is increased there is a reduction in whisker density and a transition towards the formation of large eruptions rather than potentially more harmful filament whiskers. Increasing the tin coating thickness also results in a reduction in whisker density. Results demonstrate that whisker growth is most prolific from tin deposits on brass, whilst that from tin deposits on rolled silver is greater than that observed for tin deposits on copper.
Description: This is an Open Access Article (CC-BY 3.0). It is published by Elsevier as Open Access at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microrel.2014.10.005
Sponsor: UK EPSRC Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre (IeMRC) WHISKERMIT programme
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1016/j.microrel.2014.10.005
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/16616
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.microrel.2014.10.005
ISSN: 1872-941X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Materials)

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