Metal whiskers often grow across leads of electric equipment and electronic package causing current leakage or short circuits and raising significant reliability issues. The nature of metal whiskers remains a mystery after several decades of research. Here, the existence of metal whiskers is attributed to the energy gain due to electrostatic polarization of metal filaments in the electric field. The field is induced by surface imperfections: contaminations, oxide states, grain boundaries, etc. A proposed theory provides closed form expressions and quantitative estimates for the whisker nucleation and growth rates, explains the range of whisker parameters and effects of external biasing, and predicts statistical distribution of their lengths.
SMTA - Surface Mount Technology Association is a non-profit international association of companies and individuals (totalling 4,000) involved in all aspects of advanced electronics assembly, surface mount and related technologies.
IPC - Association Connecting Electronics Industries is a US-based trade association dedicated to the competitive excellence and financial success of its nearly 2,600 member companies which represent all facets of the electronic interconnection industry, including design, printed wiring board manufacturing and electronics assembly.