Tin-rich solders are widely applied in the electronic industry in the majority of modern printed circuit boards (PCBs). Because the use of lead-tin solders has been banned in the European Union since 2006, the problem of the bridging of adjacent conductors due to tin whisker growth (limited before by the addition of Pb) has been reborn.
In this study tin alloys soldered on glass-epoxy laminate (typically used for PCBs) are considered. Scanning ion microscopy with Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) were used to determine correlations between spatial non-uniformities of the glass-epoxy laminate, the distribution of intermetallic compounds and whisker growth.
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