Enterprise Awards2017

One to watch

WHISKERMIT

Category finalist

Contributors
Professor Geoff Wilcox, Dr Mark Ashworth, Dr Xujin Bao - Department of Materials
Illustration showing the Whiskermit technology

Tin whiskers present a significant threat to the reliability of electronics components ranging from mobile devices to satellites.

These microscopic filaments, many times thinner than a human hair, grow spontaneously – up to 10mm long – causing components to short circuit and, in many cases, fail completely. With the use of lead-containing solder largely outlawed for environmental reasons, and the increasing demand for miniaturised devices, tin whisker growth presents a global problem across many sectors.

In partnership with a cross-cutting industry consortium and leading electronics coating manufacturer HumiSeal, the Loughborough team has developed a special nanotechnology to impede whisker growth.

WHISKERMIT has been demonstrated to work with a range of standard protective coatings to deliver a very significant reduction in whisker growth.

A patent application has been filed and the University is seeking to commercialise this technology with a focus on sectors that rely on high value and safety critical electronics.