News

Facing a hairy electronics problem

By
5:48pm, January 2, 2006

Three satellites have gone dead because of whiskers. Last spring, a whisker shut down a Connecticut nuclear power plant. The culprits aren't errant facial hairs: They're metal filaments that spontaneously sprout from electroplated metal films in electronic devices, where they can short out circuits. By tracking properties of such films for up to a year, researchers have now learned more about the films' internal stresses, which are suspected of causing whisker growth.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from this issue of Science News

[title_1]