Microelectronics Reliability, Vol. 47, pp. 2215-2225, 2007

Isothermal Aging Effects on Flex Cracking of Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors with Standard and Flexible Terminations

M. Keimasi, M. Azarian, and M. Pechtt
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742


Multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) are known to experience flex cracking when subjected to bending stresses. An experimental study was conducted to determine the susceptibility to flex cracking of flexible- and standard-termination surface mount MLCCs assembled with lead-free or tin-lead solders and aged at two different temperatures for 200 h. Experimental results showed that MLCCs mounted on printed circuit boards with lead-free solder are less susceptible to flex cracking compared with MLCCs mounted on boards with eutectic tin-lead solder. Two factors which make capacitors assembled with lead-free solder less susceptible to flex cracking were discussed: the lower tensile stresses inside the capacitor body which are a result of the differing elastic-plastic mechanical properties of the solder, and the higher residual compressive stresses after solder reflow assembly which are a result of the higher solidification temperature for the Sn3.0Ag0.5Cu lead-free solder. Flexible-termination MLCCs showed much more resistance to flex cracking in comparison to standard-termination MLCCs assembled with both lead-free and tin-lead solders. Aging at elevated temperatures had little effect on flex cracking susceptibility of MLCCs assembled with tin-lead solder. For MLCCs assembled with lead-free solder, aging at 150 deg C increased the susceptibility to flex cracking in comparison with un-aged MLCCs.

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