Tin Whiskers

Tin whiskers pose major safety, reliability and liability risks to all makers and users of high reliability electronics. Driven by the combined impact of lead-free legislation (RoHS, WEEE) and the continuous trend of electronic components miniaturization, the risk of failures due to these conductive, whiskers-like filaments is more imminent and widespread than ever before.

Manufacturers of high-reliability electronics are facing a growing need to adapt to the RoHS-compliant supply chain. As a temporary solution, component refinishing with lead-tin is being used. However, the constant drive for miniaturization makes this approach increasingly unreliable and costly. In cases where components and ICs are too small to be effectively re-finished at the component level, due to their sub-millimeter size, refinishing is not an option.

 Sundew’s Whiskers-Cap is a dual use coating that provides both tin whiskers containment and hermetic environmental protection. It is optimized to suppress tin whiskers growth, while providing the same high performance environmental protection of ALD-Cap.

Whisker-Cap is the first coating to provide full tin whiskers containment. Accelerated growth testing of more than one year, so far, have shown Whisker-Cap completely suppresses whiskers formation on samples with high propensity to whiskers growth.

Advantages and Benefits:

  • Ceramic films with exceptional toughness and hardness combination
  • Optimized for flexibility: >300% elongation while maintaining strength and hardness
  • Superior corrosion protection
  • Extremely low-permeability barrier to to gases, moisture, and more
  • Strong adhesion to tin
  • 100% conformal
  • Thin coating (200-500 nm)
  • Straightforward masking of contacts and test-points
  • Low temperature deposition (down to 70° C)
  • Incorporates nanolaminates to enhance adhesion and flexibility
  • Passes MIL-STD 883E, JEDEC-A102 test, > 1000 hours HAST
  • Easily re-workable
  • Dual-use as environmental protection