Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) to Mitigate Tin Whisker Growth and Corrosion Issues on Printed Circuit Board Assemblies

Terho Terho Kutilainen, Marko Pudas, Mark Ashworth, Tero Lehto, Liang Wu, Geoffrey Wilcox, Jing Wang, Paul Collander, Jussi Hokka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)


    This paper presents the results of a research program set up to evaluate atomic layer deposition (ALD) conformal coatings as a method of mitigating the growth of tin whiskers from printed circuit board assemblies. The effect of ALD coating process variables on the ability of the coating to mitigate whisker growth were evaluated. Scanning electron microscopy and optical microscopy were used to evaluate both the size and distribution of tin whiskers and the coating/whisker interactions. Results show that the ALD process can achieve significant reductions in whisker growth and thus offers considerable potential as a reworkable whisker mitigation strategy. The effect of ALD layer thickness on whisker formation was also investigated. Studies indicate that thermal exposure during ALD processing may contribute significantly to the observed whisker mitigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7573-7584
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Electronic Materials
    Issue number11
    Early online date23 Aug 2019
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


    • ALD
    • Tin whiskers
    • atomic layer deposition
    • corrosion

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
    • Materials Chemistry


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