Advanced Electroanalytical Methods for Failure Mode Analysis and Screening of Base Metal Capacitors

Period of Performance: 01/01/2015 - 12/31/2015


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Mainstream Engineering Corporation
200 Yellow Place Array
Rockledge, FL 32955
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Florida
339 Weil Hall
Gainsville, FL 32611
Institution POC


Over 95% of the multilayer ceramic capacitors manufactured worldwide use base metal electrode (BME) technology and they are one of the key components in much of the modern electronics. BME capacitors have, over the last 20 years, made significant improvements in performance and reliability; making them more competitive for a wide range of applications. However, there remains significant concerns about the reliability of BME based capacitors for applications that put high levels of stress and/or require high reliability. To increase application in high reliability platforms there remains the need to develop a robust and reliable screening method for evaluating BME multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCC). This screening method is needed for both the finished device and in process steps to prevent early catastrophic failures of the capacitor. To achieve the detail and nondestructive analysis of the component materials and the resulting BME capacitors Mainstream proposed to develop a robust, sensitive method of analysis. We propose to develop a model of the BME dielectric layers based on this analysis method. Mainstream is confident that this model will provide a reliable analysis of the dielectric layers highlighting the presence of the oxide vacancies and deviations in the grain structure of BaTiO3. Approved for Public Release 15-MDA-8161 (11 March 15)