A multi-part study found plenty of whiskers, but not where they were expected.
The elusive tin whisker is only 1/100th the width of a human hair, but this tiny, single filament protrusion can wreak havoc with all sorts of electronics, and has even been cited as the cause of some sudden acceleration failures in cars. Tin whiskering is not a new phenomenon, however. It has been documented as far back as the 1940s, so why the heightened concern now? Lead was a great mitigator of whiskers and its removal from electronic solder opened the door for increased whisker proliferation, perhaps with sometimes deadly consequences.