Gideon Analytical Laboratories received six MLCC on power cards. MLCC are multilayer ceramic capacitors. A ceramic capacitor is fixed value capacitor with the ceramic material acting as the dielectric. They have two or more alternating layers of ceramic and metal acting as electrodes. Two MLCCs were identified as failures and four MLCCs were to determine whether “flexiterm” terminations were used.

All six capacitors were removed from the power boards and tested for capacitance, ESR, and leakage current. They were then potted and cross-sectioned to reveal the termination and failure mechanisms. Pictures of the cross-sectioned MLCCs revealed flex cracks on the tops and bottom (picture at bottom left), and also revealed that the termination metal was peeling off the base metal (picture at bottom right). Some of the MLCCs also had cracks in the terminals.

Gideon Analytical Laboratories concluded that the cause of these failures were board flexing and termination cracks. All had base metal, nickel deposit, tin strike, and solder. No polymer interfaced on any of the surfaces. “Flexiterm was not present on any of these capacitors. By utilizing Gideon Analytical Laboratories for their failure analysis needs, companies in the electronics industry can rest assured that they will be able to unearth the root cause of their failed electronic components. Use Gideon Analytical Laboratories for all failure analysis needs.

50V cap

MLCC Cross Section