Diode Failure Analysis

A diode allows electricity to flow in one direction only and blocks the flow in the opposite direction. They may be regarded as one-way valves and they are used in various circuits, usually as a form of protection. There are different types of diode but their basic functions are the same. These are noted below along with examples of diodes in use.

Success Stories

Failure Analysis on 1N645 Silicon Rectifier Diodes

Failure Analysis on 1N645 Silicon Rectifier Diodes

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two 1N645 silicon rectifier diodes for failure analysis. One was bad and the other was a quality diode to be used for comparison. A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current(AC), which periodically reverses direction, to direct current(DC), which flows in only one direction. Rectifiers are used inside the power supplies of virtually all electronic equipment. AC/DC power supplies may be broadly divided into linear power supplies ands witched-mode power supplies.
On Semiconductor SS16 Schottky Rectifier

On Semiconductor SS16 Schottky Rectifier

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two On Semiconductor SS16 rectifier for failure analysis. The On Semiconductor SS16 Schottky Rectifier features glass-passivated junctions and a high-current capacity. Their applications include low voltage, high-frequency inverters, freewheeling, and polarity protection. Their storage temperature range is between -65 and 150 Degrees Celsius and the operating junction temperature is between -65 and 125 Degrees Celsius. Along with the two failed rectifiers, several good devices were also supplied for comparison.
Failure Analysis on LUMEX SSL-LX093UWC/Gc LEDs

Failure Analysis on LUMEX SSL-LX093UWC/Gc LEDs

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two LUMEX SSL-LX093UWC/Gc LEDs for failure analysis. A LED (Light Emitting Diode), is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. LEDs can be used in many different applications. Electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons. Some of the more creative uses include creating an LED virtual sky, LED bionic contact lenses, and LED wallpaper.
Vishay SS26 Surface Mount Schottky Barrier Rectifiers

Vishay SS26 Surface Mount Schottky Barrier Rectifiers

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received four Vishay SS26 Surface Mount Schottky Barrier Rectifiers for possible premature conditions to failure. A Schottky barrier is a potential energy barrier for electrons formed at a metal-semiconductor junction. Schottky barriers have rectifying characteristics, suitable for use as a diode. These Vishay SS26 Surface Mount Schottky Barrier Rectifiers feature a low profile package, high surge capability, and are RoHS compliant. The diodes came from PCB P/N 170310142001 Rev A03 S/N 051208-231.
Vishay SS26 Schottky Rectifier

Vishay SS26 Schottky Rectifier

Gideon received several Vishay SS26 Schottky rectifiers for failure analysis. It was thought something within the manufacturing process caused the devices to have a premature end of life in what would be considered a non-stressful application. The Schottky diode is what is called a majority carrier device. It has advantages in terms of speed because it does not rely on holes or electrons recombining when they enter the opposite type of region as in the case of a conventional diode.
MH Ballast Black Box PCB

MH Ballast Black Box PCB

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several electronic metal-halide (MH) ballast black semiconductor diode, but it also permits current to flow in the reverse direction when its “Zener voltage” is reached. The goal was to expose the circuitry and reverse engineer the cause of failure of the three components that were failing at a high rate. Failure analysis ensued. First, the zener diodes and fuses were exposed and potting material removed so that the circuitry was revealed.
Fairchild Transient Voltage Suppressor SMBJ5VOCA

Fairchild Transient Voltage Suppressor SMBJ5VOCA

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two Fairchild transient voltage suppressors (TVS) SMBJ5V0CA. Both diodes were identified as having failed.Transient Voltage Suppressors (TVS’s) are devices used to protect vulnerable circuits from electrical overstress such as that caused by electrostatic discharge, inductive load switching, and induced lightning. Within the TVS, damaging voltage spikes are limited by clamping or avalanche action of a rugged silicon pn junction which reduces the amplitude of the transient to a nondestructive level.
IR AUIRF7648M2 Power MOSFET

IR AUIRF7648M2 Power MOSFET

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two failed AUIRF7648M2 MOSFETs. These are rather new on the market and specifically designed for the automotive industry. Typically, when a MOSFET fails, all terminals short. It is the failure analyst’s job to discover how the MOSFET failed in the application by combining the schematics, clues found in the failure analysis, and clues found on the PCB to give a complete picture to help resolve the client’s problem.
Vishay ES2D SM Rectifier

Vishay ES2D SM Rectifier

Gideon Analytical Laboratories, Inc. received on Vishay ES2D rectifier on a PCB. The initial condition and observation were that the diode had a conformal coating on a small circuit board in which when tested on a curve tracer had excessive leakage current across the junction and caused the PCB to fail in the application. Rectifiers are primarily used for conducting in one direction and blocking in the other. The Vishay ES2D is an ultra-fast rectifier, which means the reverse recovery time should be less than 100 ns.
Rectifier Assembly Rotors

Rectifier Assembly Rotors

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several rectifier assembly rotors for failure analysis. A rectifier is an electrical device that converts alternating current (AC), which periodically reverses direction, to direct current (DC), which flows in only one direction. The simplest kind of rectifier circuit is the half-wave rectifier. It only allows one half of an AC waveform to pass through to the load. Rectifiers are used as components of power supplies and as detectors of radio signals.
JanTXV1N821 Diode

JanTXV1N821 Diode

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a JanTXV1N821 Zener diode for electronic failure analysis. A diode is a two-terminal electronic component with asymmetric conductance; it has low (ideally zero) resistance to current in one direction and high (ideally infinite) resistance in the other. A semiconductor diode is the most common type of diode; it is a crystalline piece of semiconductor material with a p–n junction connected to two electrical terminals. A Zener diode is a diode which allows current to flow in the forward direction in the same manner as an ideal diode but also permits it to flow in the reverse direction when the voltage is above a certain value, known as the breakdown voltage.
Failure Analysis on JanTX1N649-1 Diodes

Failure Analysis on JanTX1N649-1 Diodes

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two Microsemi JanTX1N649-1 diodes for electronic failure analysis. A diode is a two-terminal electronic component with asymmetric conductance. It has low resistance to current flow in one direction, and high resistance in the other direction. There are various kinds of diodes, including vacuum tube diodes and solid state diodes. The most used and ubiquitous diode is the semiconductor. The JanTX1N649-1 is a voltage regulator diode is ideal for high-reliability applications where a failure cannot be tolerated.
Microsemi DZ771215A diode

Microsemi DZ771215A diode

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a failed Microsemi DZ771215A 10 watt diode for failure analysis. Two working devices were provided for comparison. A diode is an electric device that has two electrodes (anode and cathode) and that only allows current to flow in one direction, resisting current in the other direction. Diodes are used copiously as rectifiers, which convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) to change the amplitude of the signal in proportion to its voltage in the circuit.
Potential Contamination Photodiode

Potential Contamination Photodiode

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several photodiodes to examine for possible contamination. A diode is a two-terminal electronic component with asymmetric conductance. It has low resistance to current flow in one direction, and high resistance in the other direction. There are various kinds of diodes, including vacuum tube diodes and solid state diodes. The most used and ubiquitous diode is the semiconductor. A photodiode is a type of device capable of converting light into either current or voltage.
Integrated Switches and Signal Diodes

Integrated Switches and Signal Diodes

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several components for failure analysis: two Fairchild FDC6324L integrated load switches and two Fairchild BAV99 small signal diodes. Integrated load switches are designed for power management to minimize power loss by reducing current leakages; the FDC6324L is ideal for compact computer peripheral switching applications where 3V to 20V input and 0.6A output current capability are needed. Small signal diodes are small non-linear semiconductors that are often used in electronics where high frequencies or small currents are involved.
Moisture Ingress Test

Moisture Ingress Test

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received 10 parts each of Everlight and Nichia, respectively, LED components to on which to perform a moisture ingress comparison. An LED (light-emitting diode) is a semiconductor light source that uses an anode, a cathode, and a die to direct electrons to release energy in the form of protons. A moisture ingress test is to determine the protection and susceptibility level of a device to moisture. Moisture ingress tests are conducted for all kinds of electronics equipment.
FTIR of LEDs

FTIR of LEDs

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received a Unity PLCC LED and was asked to perform FTIR analysis for the purpose of materials compatibility. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a process used to acquire an infrared spectrum of absorption, emission, or photoconductivity of some substance. It can work with solids, liquids, or gasses, and can reveal the chemical composition of numerous materials. Gideon Analytical Laboratories was asked specifically to utilize FTIR on two substances: a white encapsulate and a clear/colorless material.
Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser

Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several VCSELs (vertical cavity surface emitting laser” with diminished light capacity over time for failure analysis. VCSELs are a type of semiconductor laser diode with laser beam emission perpendicular from the chip surface. The VCSEL has become of great importance in the optical communications field. Gideon Analytical Laboratories was tasked to diagnose the failing VCSELs. Failure analysis commenced. The devices were tested on a curve tracer to determine whether any junction problems (junction inversion, leakage current, facet oxidation, etc.
MOC101 Photocoupler

MOC101 Photocoupler

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received three failed Vishay MOC8101 isolating photocouplers for failure analysis. These photocouplers are components that transfer electrical signals between two isolated circuits by using light. Like the MOC8102, MOC8103, MOC8104, and MOC8105, the MOC8101 consists of a consisting of gallium arsenide infrared emitting diode optically coupled to a silicon planar phototransistor detector in a plastic plug-in DIP-6 package (http://www.vishay.com/docs/83660/moc8101.pdf) The MOC8101 were reported to have intermittent function, it was the goal of Gideon Analytical Laboratories to diagnose the cause of these failures.
Varactor Diode GVD30601-001

Varactor Diode GVD30601-001

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several GVD30601-001 super hyperabrupt junction tuning varactor diodes with a latent failure mechanism over time. A varactor diode is a P-N junction diode that changes its capacitance and the series resistance as the bias applied to the diode is varied. Hyperabrupt tuning varactor diodes offer a large change in junction capacitance over a small tuning voltage range. Varactors are operated in a reverse-bias state, like a Zener diode.
Failure Analysis on 1N5626GP Diode

Failure Analysis on 1N5626GP Diode

Gideon Analytical Labs received one failed 1N5626GP diode and several good ones for comparison. According to a Wikipedia post, a p–n junction diode is made of a crystal of a semiconductor, usually silicon, but germanium href=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallium_arsenide">gallium arsenide are also used. Impurities are added to it to create a region on one side that contains negative charge carriers (electrons), called an n-type semiconductor, and a region on the other side that contains positive charge carriers (holes), called a p-type semiconductor.
Photocoupler Vishay IL420 Failure Analysis

Photocoupler Vishay IL420 Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Labs received one failed photocoupler, a Vishay IL 420, for failure analysis along with two virgins (unused) optocouplers for comparison. The basic function of a Photo Coupler is to have electronic isolation, including potential isolation (as in the case of the transformer) in an electrical circuit. Devices of the Photo Coupler family include Photo Transistor, Photo Darlington Transistor, Photo Triac and OPIC. These devices have the characteristics of excellent isolation, high CTR, compact package, high-speed operation, low decay and unit control function not being influenced by field effects.
Optocoupler Fairchild QTC H11N1 Failure Analysis

Optocoupler Fairchild QTC H11N1 Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Labs received several Fairchild QTC H11N1s, a high-speed logic optocoupler, in 6-pin plastic DIPs. The devices were reported as some good, some intermittent and some not working in the application. The main function of an opto-isolator is to block high voltages and voltage transients, so that a surge in one part of the system will not disrupt or destroy another part of the circuit. Opto-couplers allow a signal to be sent in digital (some analog) between circuits.
VCSEL Diode Failure Analysis

VCSEL Diode Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Labs received several VCSELs (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser) with diminished light capacity were submitted for failure analysis. A VCSEL is a type of semiconductor laser diode with laser beam emission perpendicular from the top surface, contrary to conventional edge-emitting semiconductor lasers which emit from surfaces formed by cleaving the individual chip out of a wafer. Thus, all the light is emitted from one spot, the laser aperture. The devices were tested on a curve tracer to determine whether any junction problems (junction inversion, leakage current, facet oxidation, etc.
Diode Failure Analysis

Diode Failure Analysis

Gideon Analytical Labs received Wamco Display Socket 4160001-1 for failure analysis. The device had a reported open diode on pin G. This display socket is encapsulated in a plastic housing filled with a silicone rubber filler to stabilize movement of the diodes. The diodes are hermetically sealed in glass and position via plastic at one end and a socket located at the bifurcation line. The electrical data indicated the diode was open when initially measured but was intermittent when moved.
EOS of Signal Diode

EOS of Signal Diode

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two integrated load switches and two small signal diodes for analysis. The integrated load switches are particularly suited for compact power management in portable electronic equipment where 2.5V to 8V input and 2.8A output current capability are needed. They have an operating voltage range 1.2V-20.V. The signal diodes are non-linear semiconductor devices generally used in electronic circuits, where small currents or high frequencies are involved such as in radio, television and digital logic circuits.
BZT52B5V6-V Diode Failures

BZT52B5V6-V Diode Failures

Gideon Analytical Laboratories performed failure analysis on several BZT52B5V6-V Zener diodes with dead shorts. The most common function of a diode is to allow an electric current to pass in one direction (forward direction) while blocking current in the opposite direction (reverse direction). Thus, the diode can be viewed as an electronic version of a check valve with current passing in only one direction and blocked in the opposite direction. This unidirectional behavior is called rectification and allows one to convert alternating current to direct current.
Optocoupler Failures

Optocoupler Failures

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two failed photocouplers for failure analysis. These photocouplers feature a high isolation voltage, high-speed switching, and high collector to emitter voltage. They are used in many types of applications, including power supply, telephones, and fax machines. The optocoupler was electrically tested; there was a short on both input diodes. The goal was to determine the cause of this failure. After curve trace tests were performed, both failed devices were immersed in a low surface tension dye penetrant This is a modified Mil-Std 1014.
Poor Process Control Lead to This Over Current Failure

Poor Process Control Lead to This Over Current Failure

Gideon Analytical Labs received several printed circuit boards (PCB) with fire damage on one and electrical overstress on the LTC4258CGW module when received. One good unit was provided for comparison. The objective was to find the cause and access the risk to the customer. The LTC4258 can operate autonomously or be controlled by an I2C serial interface. Fault conditions are optionally signaled with the INT pin to eliminate software polling. External power MOSFETs, current sense resistors and diodes allow easy scaling of current and power dissipation levels and provide protection against voltage and current spikes and ESD events.
1N4148 Glass Diode Failures

1N4148 Glass Diode Failures

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several intermittent diodes failures and two good ones for comparison.The failed devices were checked for intermittent operation. The three diodes open circuited between 65 and 80C. The lead frame makes contact with a solderable copper clad steel plug under the glass. This picture shows the lead frame to plug interconnect. If solder fails to wet sufficiently the lead frame to plug interconnect, then intermittent opens can occur.