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Generation of Voids in Pb-Free Plating After Annealing
Keywords: Tin whiskers, Pb-free, reliability
Tin whiskers refer to “needle-like” crystalline structures of tin that form and grow on surfaces that use pure or nearly-pure tin as a final finish. The issues has plagued the industry since the introduction of Pb-free solder requirements, but has been first documented more than 50 years ago. Today’s issue is how to mitigate the propagation of the phenomena. Some research calls for annealing to reduce the chance of whiskers under certain conditions. This paper examines the difference in voids after annealing in tin plating and tin-bismuth plating In the experiments, both tin and tin-bismuth are plated. After annealing at 150°C for one hour and bending conditions, results are compared in the tin and tin-bismuth cross-sections. The paper also examines plating with and without annealing and the results after bending. Plating on both copper and Alloy42 are examined. References 1. Issei Fujimura, “Lead free plating technology for tin whisker mitigation” Application for Technical Conference of the 37th Internepcon Japan, January 2008. 2. L. Snugovsky of University of Toronto presented
E. Jan Vardaman, President, Senior Analyst
TechSearch International Inc.,
Austin, TX


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