Failure analysis of miniaturized multilayer ceramic capacitors in surface mount printed circuit board assemblies

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-29
Journal / PublicationJournal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1994


New failure analysis results of miniaturized multilayer ceramic capacitors (sizes 0402, 0603, 0805 and 1206) which have been subjected to various degrees of thermal shock up to 450°C by ice-water or dry ice quenching are reported. The thermal shock resistance of 0402 multilayer ceramic capacitors was found to be about 400°C and considerably better than those of the larger ones. Microstructural and layer-by-layer insulation resistance analyses have clearly identified the physical locations responsible for the electrical leakage of defective capacitors. Further, no evidence of silver migration as a dominant failure mechanism has been observed for any of the defective capacitors under usual operating stresses. Comparisons of I-V characteristics for multilayer ceramic capacitors quenched by ice-water and dry ice confirm that water plays a significant role in causing electrical failure at nominal bias. Comparisons with results obtained from practical surface mount printed circuit board assembly of mobile telephones is discussed. From these, failure mechanisms are proposed to explain the failure of miniaturized multilayer ceramic capacitors under normal service conditions. © 1994 Chapman & Hall.