, Volume 62, Issue 7, pp 30–37 | Cite as

Real-time SEM/FIB studies of whisker growth and surface modification

  • Nitin Jadhav
  • Eric Buchovecky
  • Eric Chason
  • Allan Bower
Lead-Free Solders / Research Summary


We report on real-time measurements that enable us to watch the morphology of whiskers and hillocks forming in real-time and provide insight into the mechanisms controlling their growth and initiation. These measurements show that whiskers appear to grow out of a single grain on the surface with little lateral growth. To understand why whiskers initiate at specific sites, we modified the surface using the focused ion beam to remove the oxide in selected areas. Whiskers did not grow out of these uncovered areas, indicating that the underlying grain structure is important to whisker growth and it is not sufficient to just remove the oxide barrier. In comparison with whiskers, we found that hillock formation is accompanied by a large amount of grain growth and often by grain rotation at the surface.


Oxide Surface Modification Specific Site Lateral Growth Whisker Growth 


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Copyright information

© TMS 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nitin Jadhav
    • 1
  • Eric Buchovecky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric Chason
    • 1
  • Allan Bower
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of EngineeringBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.General Motors R&DWarrenUSA

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