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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1250

Title: Driving force and mechanism for spontaneous metal whisker formation
Authors: Barsoum, Michel W.
Hoffman, Elizabeth N.
Doherty, Roger D.
Gupta, Surojit
Zavaliangos, Antonios
Keywords: Tin Whiskers;Spontaneous Growth;Hillock Formation;Films;Zinc
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2004
Publisher: The American Physical Society
Citation: Physical Review Letters, 93(20): pp. 206104-1—206104-4. Retrieved September 19, 2006 from http://www.mse.drexel.edu/max/pdf%20references/drexel_pdfs/papers/WhiskesPRL_2004.pdf. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.93.206104
Abstract: The room temperature spontaneous growth of low melting point metal whiskers, such as Sn, poses a serious reliability problem in the semiconducting industry; a problem that has become acute with the introduction of Pb-free technology. To date, this 50+ year old problem has resisted interpretation. Herein we show that the driving force is essentially a reaction between oxygen and the sprouting metal. The resulting volume expansion creates a compressive stress that pushes the whiskers up. The model proposed explains our observations on In and Sn whiskers and many past observations. The solution is in principle simple: diffusion of oxygen into the metal must be prevented or slowed down. This was demonstrated by coating the active surfaces with a polymer coating.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/1250
Appears in Collections:Faculty Research and Publications (MSE)

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