The effects of temperature and humidity on the growth of tin whisker and hillock from Sn5Nd alloy

Cai Fu Li, Zhi Quan Liu, Jian Ku Shang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of exposure time, temperature and humidity on the growth of tin whisker and hillock from Sn5Nd alloy were investigated via scanning electron microscopy. It was found that tin whiskers grew from NdSn3 compound, while hillocks grew from the tin matrix around the NdSn3 compound, which was induced by the oxidation of NdSn3 compound by oxygen and water vapor in the ambient. More tin whiskers and/or hillocks were extruded from the substrate with longer exposure time, higher temperature and higher humidity. This resulted in the formation of various morphologies of tin extrusions at different storage conditions, including thread-like, spiral, flute-like, claw-like, sprout-like, chrysanthemum-like and rod-like whiskers, as well as hillocks. Tin whisker was extruded from the crack of the surface Nd(OH)3 layer which serves as the mold of tin whisker growth. And the proposed growth models of tin whisker and hillock on Sn-Nd alloy can explain the diversity of the whisker morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Volume550
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2013

Keywords

  • Growth mechanism
  • Hillock
  • NdSn
  • Oxidation
  • Tin whisker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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