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Understanding Whisker Growth: Effects of Substrate and Crystallographic Texture
Keywords: Tin whisker, Diffusion, Crystallographic Texture
The fundamentals of whiskering in pure Sn coatings electro-deposited on pure Cu and brass (65 wt. % Cu: 35 wt. % Zn) substrates with and without electro-deposited Ni underlayer was studied. These coatings were subjected to isothermal aging at 50 C to accelerate the whisker growth, and whisker growth was studied using scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with focused ion imaging. Texture characterization was conducted using X-rays and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD). It was observed that whisker growth was more accelerated in case of brass substrate compared to pure Cu substrate. No whisker growth was observed in coatings with Ni underlayer. It was observed that diffusion of substrate atoms along Sn grain boundaries plays major role in whiskering. Ni underlayer inhibited diffusion of Cu and Zn atoms inside Sn coating. It was also observed that growth of low-index planes during deposition significantly accelerates the whisker growth. Micro-texture analysis of grains surrounding the whisker site confirmed the growth from low-index planes. Crystal plasticity finite element analysis is employed to understand the site specific nucleation of whisker grain.
PiyushJAgtap, phD
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
Bangalore-560012, Karnataka
India


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