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Evaluation of Whiskers and Lead-Free Solders on Capacitors

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Capacitors with matte tin termination finishes were tested for tin whisker growth. The study incorporated two types of configurations: molded case SMT capacitors and multi-layer ceramic chip (MLCC) capacitors with copper metallized endmets. Both copper and nickel under-plates were evaluated on the molded case devices. All MLCC components had a nickel under-plate but two different tin deposits were tested: (1) large grained: tin grain size of 2 – 8 μm (2) small grained: tin grain size = 2 μm.

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