Failure Analysis on MLCCs

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received two multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs)for failure analysis. Multilayer ceramic capacitors are fixed value capacitors in which the ceramic is acting as the dielectric material. It is made up of two or more alternating layers of ceramic and a metal layer acting as the electrodes. There are various types of materials that could function as the dielectric in a capacitor, for example, glass, porcelain, paper, or mica. They were not EU ROHS compliant. Their capacitance value was 0.0047uF. Their max voltage was 50VDC; they had a C0G dielectric, were surface mounted, and had a maximum operating temperature of 125° C. Failure analysis was conducted to determine the cause of the failures.

The MLCCs were tested electrically and found to have leakage current. No external damage was found on the body of the ceramic. The MLCC was cross-sectioned and examined. Delamination had occurred, allowing charge to flow between dielectric layers. There were several areas of delamination, which is why the capacitor had excessive leakage current. There was a manufacturing process flaw resulting in delamination. This made the capacitor appear as a resistor.

Gideon Analytical Laboratories has helped all types of electronics companies, from international conglomerates to businesses with just a few employees, solve their electronics problems. We have one goal: reveal the nature and cause of why devices are failing. We want to make sure your products are reliable. Save time and money. Give yourself peace of mind by knowing how and why devices are failing. With knowledge provided by Gideon Analytical Laboratories, failures will be a thing of the past.

close up of delamination

close up of delamination

Cross section of MLCC

Cross section of MLCC

delamination between dielectric layers

delamination between dielectric layers

MLCC

MLCC