The effects of humidity on tin whisker growth by immersion tin plating and tin solder dipping surface finishes

Lim, Hooi Peng, Ourdjinib, Ali, Abu Bakarb, Tuty Asma, & Tesfamichael, Tuquabo (2015) The effects of humidity on tin whisker growth by immersion tin plating and tin solder dipping surface finishes. Procedia Manufacturing, 2, 275- 279.

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The drive to replace lead (Pb) from electronics has led to the replacement of tin (Sn) alloys as the terminal plating for electronic devices. However, the deposition of Sn based alloys as the component surface finish tends to induce Sn whisker that causes unintended electric shorts when the conductive whiskers grow across to the adjacent conductor. Internal stress is considered as the driving force that causes the growth of Sn whiskers. In this study, stress type of elevated temperature/ humidity exposure at 55C/85%RH with the storage for up to 24 months was conducted to define the acceleration factor in samples with deposition of immersion Sn plating and Sn solder dipping. The addition of Nickel (Ni) under-layer was also applied to examine the correlation to field conditions. The results showed that the whisker length increased in high humidity irrespective of the deposition methods. It was also shown that pure Sn solder dipping mitigated the whisker growth but does not completely prevent it when alloying Sn with 0.4%wtCu. Additionally, Ni under-layer was indicated to be more efficient in mitigating the growth of whisker by prolonging the incubation time for whisker formation.

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ID Code: 95152
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: 2nd International Materials, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering Conference, MIMEC2015, 4-6 February 2015, Bali, Indonesia
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Immersion tin, solder dipping, tin whisker, humidity
DOI: 10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.048
ISSN: 2351-9789
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Facilities: Science and Engineering Centre
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors
Copyright Statement: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Deposited On: 26 Apr 2016 02:45
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:52

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