Lawrence John Salzano II, Chris Wilkinson, and Peter Sandborn
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Embedding passive components (capacitors, resistors and inductors) within printed wiring boards is one of a series of technology advances enabling performance increases, size and weight reductions, and potentially economic advantages in electronic systems.
This paper explores the reliability testing and subsequent failure analysis for laser-trimmed Gould subtractive nickel chromium and MacDermid additive nickel phosphorous embedded resistor technologies within a printed wiring board (PWB). Laser-trimmed resistors that have been "reworked" using an inkjet printing process to add material to their surface to reduce resistance have also been considered. Environmental qualification testing performed included: thermal characterization, stabilization bake, temperature cycling, thermal shock and temperature/humidity aging. In addition, a pre/post-lamination analysis was performed to determine the effects of the board manufacturing process on the embedded resistors. A failure analysis consisting of optical inspection, SAM and ESEM imaging, and PWB cross-sectioning was employed to determine failure mechanisms. All the embedded resistors were trimmed and the test samples included resistors fabricated both parallel and perpendicular to the weave of the board dielectric material. Material stability assessment and a comparison with discrete resistors technologies was performed.
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