POSS-Based Conformal Coating with Active Tin Whisker Mitigation Properties

Period of Performance: 02/12/2008 - 08/13/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Vista Engineering, Inc.
Birmingham, AL 35203
Principal Investigator

Abstract

It is proposed that a Phase I SBIR be conducted to evaluate the feasibility of developing a POSS-based (Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes) coating that performs the multifunctional needs of a conformal coating that actively mitigates tin whisker growth. New conformal coating materials are needed to mitigate the risk of tin whisker caused short circuits on electronic assemblies. Development of a new conformal coating that successfully prevents tin whisker penetration would greatly reduce the risk of tin whisker induced failure over the service life of a military system. POSS, with its nano-SiO molecular structure, has unique properties as a coating that make it environmentally stable, an excellent moisture barrier, and nonvolatile. These unique properties of the POSS feed stock present an unusual opportunity to the electronics industry; a conformal coating that also actively mitigates tin whisker nucleation and growth through chemical interaction with the tin oxide surface. Vista Engineering, working with a Hybrid Plastics patented formulation will test a group of the POSS derivatives and application variables during Phase I and select a set of promising POSS formulations for Phase II development.