Journal of Electronic Materials, Vol. 41, No. 8, pp. 2286-2303, March 2012

Embedded Capacitors in Printed Wiring Board: A Technological Review

Mohammed A. Alam, Michael H. Azarian and Michael G. Pecht

Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA


This paper reviews the technology of embedded capacitors, which has gained importance with an increase in the operating frequency and a decrease in the supply voltage of electronic circuits. These capacitors have been found to reduce the number of surface-mount capacitors, which can assist in the miniaturization of printed wiring boards. This paper describes various aspects of embedded capacitors, such as electrical performance, available dielectric materials, manufacturing processes, and reliability. Improvement in electrical performance is explained using a cavity model from the theory of micro-strip antennas. The advantages and disadvantages of dielectric materials such as polymers, ceramics, polymer-ceramic composites, and polymer-conductive filler composites are discussed. Various manufacturing techniques that can be used for the fabrication of embedded capacitors are also discussed. Embedded capacitors have many advantages, but failure of an embedded capacitor can lead to board failure since these capacitors are not reworkable. The effect of various environmental stress conditions on the reliability of embedded capacitors is reviewed.

Keywords : Embedded capacitors, power-ground plane, impedance, para-electric, ferroelectric, polymer-ceramic composites, polymer-conductive filler composites, dispersant, manufacturing, reliability

Complete article is available from the publisher and to the CALCE consortium members.

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