Failure Analysis on Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L MLCCs

Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L Multi-Layered Ceramic Capacitors (MLCCs) for failure analysis. An MLCC consists of a number of individual capacitors stacked together in parallel and contacted via the terminal surfaces. The starting material for all MLCC chips is a mixture of finely ground granules of paraelectric or ferroelectric raw materials, modified by accurately determined additives. The Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L has a capacitance of 10 uF, a DC voltage rating of 6.3 VDC, has an XR7 dielectric, and has an SMD/SMT termination style. It has a minimum operating temperature of -55 Celsius and a maximum operating temperature of 125 Celsius. The goal was to determine why these MLCCs were failing, and while we did discover why, that is not the only thing we uncovered.

We immediately got down to business analyzing the Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L Multi-Layered Ceramic Capacitors. First, we electrically tested and compared this group of MLCCs with another batch of the exact same product we had worked on a few months ago. Of this new batch, almost all were out of Murata specification regarding capacitance. We looked at the termination of metal and electrodes. SEM-EDS analysis was used to analyze the termination metallurgy. The MLCCs were then cross-sectioned. There was contamination between the electrodes. These Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L MLCCs had failed because of contamination, but the real problem was more than that. Based on the abnormally high capacitance and dissipation factors, we believed these parts to be counterfeit.

Gideon Analytical Laboratories is your pillar during times of industry uncertainty. We can determine if your products are being made with counterfeit parts. There is a global shortage of MLCCs in 2018, and if you are reading this success story you might already be aware of the shortage. MLCC manufacturers are scrambling to keep up with demand, but things like smartphones and automotive applications are placing a real burden on the supply chain. Beware of counterfeit parts. Gideon Analytical Laboratories can help you navigate the treacherous waters of a volatile MLCC market. If you need to know why your MLCCs are failing or you need to know if they can be trusted, we should be your analytical laboratory of choice. Let us help you. Call Gideon Analytical Laboratories today.

Sample 5, out of specification in capacitance and dissipation factor

Sample 5, out of specification in capacitance and dissipation factor

Sample 5 termination metal

Sample 5 termination metal

SEM-EDS of contamination

SEM-EDS of contamination

Sample 5, contamination closer view

Sample 5, contamination closer view

Sample 5, contamination in yellow circle

Sample 5, contamination in yellow circle

Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L Multi Layered Ceramic Capacitor

Murata Electronics GCM21BR70J106KE22L Multi Layered Ceramic Capacitor

Sample 1 termination metal is Cu Ni Sn, going from inside to outside

Sample 1 termination metal is Cu Ni Sn, going from inside to outside

Sample 1 termination metal and electrodes

Sample 1 termination metal and electrodes

SEM-EDS analysis of termination metal

SEM-EDS analysis of termination metal