I Boguslavsky, P Bush, E Kam-Lum, M Kwoka, J McCullen, K Spalding, K Vo, Maureen E. Williams
The need to better understand whisker growth has dramatically increased as component suppliers convert from tin-lead (SnPb) finishes to Pb-free finishes of Sn and low -alloy-content Sn-based finishes. Whiskers are spontaneous growth of metal filaments emanating from the finish surface. The issues with whiskers are they may grow long enough to cause short circuiting or break off and interfere with other devices in an application. Currently, there is not an industry-accepted test to assay the propensity of a plating finish to whisker and to estimate the risk of whisker growth for a given plating finish. The Whisker Test Method Standards Committee was formed under the sponsorship of the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) to evaluate different environmental factors influencing whisker growth and to recommend test methods to assess whisker growth propensity of plating finishes.