Technical Library | 2022-03-16 19:48:18.0
Dendrites, Electrochemical Migration (ECM) and parasitic leakage, are usually caused by process related contamination. For example, excess flux, poor handling, extraneous solder, fibers, to name a few. One does not normally relate these fails with environmental causes. However, creep corrosion is a mechanism by which electronic products fail in application, primarily related to sulfur pollution present in the air.1 The sulfur reacts with exposed silver, and to a lesser extent, exposed copper. This paper will explore various aspects of the creep corrosion chemical reaction
Technical Library | 2012-05-10 19:48:10.0
First published in the 2012 IPC APEX EXPO technical conference proceedings. Creep corrosion normally happens in the end system, PCB, connectors and components are widely noted due to the exposure of high sulfur environments under elevated humidity. In thi
Technical Library | 2015-07-16 17:24:23.0
Qualification of electronic hardware from a corrosion resistance standpoint has traditionally relied on stressing the hardware in a variety of environments. Before the development of tests based on mixed flowing gas (MFG), hardware was typically exposed to temperature-humidity cycling. In the pre-1980s era, component feature sizes were relatively large. Corrosion, while it did occur, did not in general degrade reliability. There were rare instances of the data center environments releasing corrosive gases and corroding hardware. One that got a lot of publicity was the corrosion by sulfur-bearing gases given off by data center carpeting. More often, corrosion was due to corrosive flux residues left on as-manufactured printed circuit boards (PCBs) that led to ion migration induced electrical shorting. Ion migration induced failures also occurred inside the PCBs due to poor laminate quality and moisture trapped in the laminate layers.
Technical Library | 2022-03-16 19:41:17.0
Creep corrosion occurs in electronics assemblies and it is reminiscent to electromigration but does not require electrical field to drive the reaction. Corrosive elements and moisture must be present for creep corrosion to occur. Sulfur is the most prominent element to cause creep corrosion in environments such as paper mills, rubber manufacturing, mining, cement manufacturing, waste water treatment etc., also including companies and locations nearby such industries. The main part of printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) to be affected is the PCB surface finish. Especially immersion silver is prone to creep corrosion, but it sometimes occurs in NiPd (lead frames), and to a lesser extent in ENIG and OSP surface finishes. As the use of immersion silver is increasing as PCB surface finish and electronics are more and more used in harsh environments, creep corrosion is a growing risk. In this paper we will present the driving forces and mechanisms as well as suitable tests and mitigation strategies against creep corrosion
Technical Library | 2016-05-19 16:03:37.0
As consumers become more reliant on their handheld electronic devices and take them into new environments, devices are increasingly exposed to situations that can cause failure. In response, the electronics industry is making these devices more resistant to environmental exposures. Printed circuit board assemblies, handheld devices and wearables can benefit from a protective conformal coating to minimize device failures by providing a barrier to environmental exposure and contamination. Traditional conformal coatings can be applied very thick and often require thermal or UV curing steps that add extra cost and processing time compared to alternative technologies. These coatings, due to their thickness, commonly require time and effort to mask connectors in order to permit electrical conductivity. Ultra-thin fluorochemical coatings, however, can provide excellent protection, are thin enough to not necessarily require component masking and do not necessarily require curing. In this work, ultra-thin fluoropolymer coatings were tested by internal and industry approved test methods, such as IEC (ingress protection), IPC (conformal coating qualification), and ASTM (flowers-of-sulfur exposure), to determine whether this level of protection and process ease was possible.
Technical Library | 2018-05-09 22:15:29.0
Creep corrosion on printed circuit boards (PCBs) is the corrosion of copper metallization and the spreading of the copper corrosion products across the PCB surfaces to the extent that they may electrically short circuit neighboring features on the PCB. The iNEMI technical subcommittee on creep corrosion has developed a flowers-of-sulfur (FOS) based test that is sufficiently well developed for consideration as an industry standard qualification test for creep corrosion. This paper will address the important question of how relative humidity affects creep corrosion. A creep corrosion tendency that is inversely proportional to relative humidity may allow data center administrators to eliminate creep corrosion simply by controlling the relative humidity in the data center,thus, avoiding the high cost of gas-phase filtration of gaseous contamination. The creep corrosion relative humidity dependence will be studied using a modified version of the iNEMI FOS test chamber. The design modification allows the achievement of relative humidity as low as 15% in the presence of the chlorine-releasing bleach aqueous solution. The paper will report on the dependence of creep corrosion on humidity in the 15 to 80% relative humidity range by testing ENIG (gold on electroless nickel), ImAg (immersion silver) and OSP (organic surface preservative) finished PCBs, soldered with organic acid flux.
Technical Library | 2019-07-17 17:56:34.0
The increased demand for electronic devices in recent years has led to an extensive research in the field to meet the requirements of the industry. Electrolytic copper has been an important technology in the fabrication of PCBs and semiconductors. Aqueous sulfuric acid baths are explored for filling or building up with copper structures like blind micro vias (BMV), trenches, through holes (TH), and pillar bumps. As circuit miniaturization continues, developing a process that simultaneously fills vias and plates TH with various sizes and aspect ratios, while minimizing the surface copper thickness is critical. Filling BMV and plating TH at the same time, presents great difficulties for the PCB manufactures. The conventional copper plating processes that provide good via fill and leveling of the deposit tend to worsen the throwing power (TP) of the electroplating bath. TP is defined as the ratio of the deposit copper thickness in the center of the through hole to its thickness at the surface. In this paper an optimization of recently developed innovative, one step acid copper plating technology for filling vias with a minimal surface thickness and plating through holes is presented.
Technical Library | 2021-04-08 00:30:49.0
As the electronic industry moves to lead-free assembly and finer-pitch circuits, widely used printed wiring board (PWB) finish, SnPb HASL, has been replaced with lead-free and coplanar PWB finishes such as OSP, ImAg, ENIG, and ImSn. While SnPb HASL offers excellent corrosion protection of the underlying copper due to its thick coating and inherent corrosion resistance, the lead-free board finishes provide reduced corrosion protection to the underlying copper due to their very thin coating. For ImAg, the coating material itself can also corrode in more aggressive environments. This is an issue for products deployed in environments with high levels of sulfur containing pollutants encountered in the current global market. In those corrosive environments, creep corrosion has been observed and led to product failures in very short service life (1-5 years). Creep corrosion failures within one year of product deployment have also been reported. This has prompted an industry-wide effort to understand creep corrosion