A Model for Nucleation and Growth Processes of Tin Whisker
A model for the nucleation and growth processes of Sn whisker is offered. High density of localized screw dislocations by deformation form the dense spiral steps of atomic scale on Sn surface. The spiral steps would induce the nucleation of Sn whisker. Edge dislocations localized at the same region where the dense screw dislocations exist supply Sn atoms to Sn whisker through pipe diffusion. Both screw and edge dislocations would bend along almost one direction, namely, to relax the external shear stress. The image force also helps to bend the dislocations perpendicular to the whisker side-surface. The bending of dislocations at root of whisker leads the bend of whisker. The pipe diffusion of Sn atoms through edge dislocations from bulk Sn toward whisker is suppressed at the bent part of edge dislocation, resulting in release of Sn atoms inside whisker and leading to the growth of whisker near its root.
T. Chandra, N. Wanderka, W. Reimers , M. Ionescu
K. Nakai et al., "A Model for Nucleation and Growth Processes of Tin Whisker", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 638-642, pp. 2688-2693, 2010