Silver Migration

Silver has strong tendencies to migrate, since silver oxide is water soluble. The migration of silver on electronic assemblies expresses itself in the formation of conductive paths by wandering metal ions and under the influence of humidity between traces of different potentials. Preferred direction is towards the electric field. This effect is of eminent practical importance in the case of small structures. This migration can lead to malfunction, in the worst case to the total failure of the electronics through shorts. Alloying palladium to the silver can effectively reduce if not inhibit the silver migration. Other metals like copper and tin also tend to migrate, albeit at a slower rate.