Karpov, Victor G; Georgiev, Daniel G; Borra, Vamsi; Itapu, Srikanth
We report on the modification of tin (Sn) film surfaces under a laser beam irradiation that triggers surface plasmon polariton (SPP) excitations. The observed surface features in the form of small raised grains, with well-defined rooting, look similar to tin whisker nodules. We attribute the appearance of those features to the field-induced nucleation caused by the SPP related strong electric field. Possible implications of our findings include accelerated-life testing for tin whisker growth related reliability as well as applications to nanoparticle nucleation.