Gideon Analytical Laboratories received several Vishay TR3D685K050C0500 tantalum capacitors for analysis. A tantalum electrolytic capacitor is an electrolytic capacitor, a passive component of electronic circuits. It consists of a pellet of tantalum metal as an anode, covered by an insulating oxide layer that forms the dielectric, surrounded by a liquid or solid electrolyte as a cathode. Because of its very thin and relatively high permittivity dielectric layer, the tantalum capacitor distinguishes itself from other conventional and electrolytic capacitors in having a high capacitance per volume (high volumetric efficiency) and lower weight. The Vishay TR3D685K050C0500 tantalum capacitors having an operating temperature range between -55° C and 85° C, a voltage rating of 50V and a capacitance of 6.8uF. Of the several TR3D685K050C0500s received, three samples were shorted, were labeled as “good”, and two were golden virgin parts for comparison. The goal was to determine the cause of these failures, and Gideon Analytical Laboratories did just that.
Electronic failure analysis ensued on the tantalum capacitors. All of the samples underwent the same rigorous testing procedures. They were tested for capacitance, DF,and ESR. Particular attention was paid to the three shorted samples. They were decapsulated and analyzed using SEM-EDS and SEM-XFR analysis. The failure sites and accompanying contamination was hard to miss. All of the shorted samples were exposed to various levels of unwanted elements like silver and chloride. Samples were cross-sectioned, and micrographs were taken of the failure sites. Chloride was the main culprit. Corrosion like this will cause shorts and sometimes leakage current. Chlorides in a swimming pool, on a driveway to melt ice, or on the dinner table are usually fine. Chlorides on tantalum capacitors are a serious problem.
Gideon AnalyticalLaboratories solved the mystery as to why theTR3D685K050C0500 tantalum capacitors were failing. Another day, another problem solved for the problem solvers of the electronic industry. If you need expert analysis from experienced chemists and electrical engineers who are ready, willing, and able to solve any electrical problem, give Gideon Analytical Laboratories a call today. If it is currently nighttime, give us a call first thing in the morning.