Modeling Stress Responses of Multilayer Capacitors Using Varying Termination Geometries

  • Gilad Sharon
  • Donald Barker
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Environmental regulations and increasingly challenging design objectives have prompted the search for alternative materials in microelectronics. Employing these materials alters the reliability profile and performance characteristics of the electronic components into which they are integrated. This article explores how mechanical stresses impact the reliability of ceramic dielectric bodies of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) when the material, shape, and thickness of the MLCC terminations were varied. The termination material, termination geometry, and thickness of the ceramic were varied. Results were obtained using finite element analysis, and a reliability model was developed and validated. A preliminary investigation indicated a relationship between the selection of materials used for capacitor termination and the emergence of cracks. Stresses that occurred when boards were subjected to conditions including cyclic bending, vibrations, temperature cycling, and high-g loading correlated to the appearance of cracks on the bottom of the capacitor in proximity to the termination.


Reliability Physics of failure Failure analysis Termination Electronic packaging 


  1. 1.
    Syfer Technology Limited: Mechanical cracking: the major cause for multilayer ceramic capacitor failures. AN0005—Mechanical Cracking Issue 3 CN# P103199, Norwich, UK. Available at Accessed June 2009
  2. 2.
    de With, G.: Structural integrity of ceramic multilayer capacitor materials and ceramic multilayer capacitors. J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 12, 323–336 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Franken, K., Maier, H.R., Prume, K., Waser, R.: Finite-element analysis of ceramic multilayer capacitors: failure probability caused by wave soldering and bending loads. J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 83(6), 1434 (2000)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lee, W., Myoung, J.M., Yoo, Y.H., Shin, H.: Effect of thermal misfit stress on crack deflection at planar interfaces in layered systems. Compos. Sci. Technol. 66, 435–443 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shen, G.L., Hu, G.K.: Mechanics of Composite Materials. Tsinghua University Press, Beijing (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Pang, J., Yeo, A., Low, T.H., et al.: Lead-free 96.Sn–3.5Ag flip chip solder joint reliability analysis. In: Ninth Intersociety Conf. on Thermal and Thermomech. Phenomena in Elec. Systems, Las Vegas, pp. 160–164 (2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    den Toonder, J.M.J., Rademaker, C.W., Hu, C.L.: Residual stresses in multilayer ceramic capacitors: measurement and computation. J. Electron. Packaging 125, 506–511 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wiese, S., Meusel, E.: Characterization of lead-free solders in flip chip joints. J. Electron. Packaging 125(4), 531–538 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ohguchi, K., Sasaki, K., Ishibashi, M.: A quantitative evaluation of time-independent and time-dependent deformations of lead-free and lead-containing solder alloys. J. Electron. Mater. 35(1), 132–139 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Prume, K., Franken, K., Bottger, U., Waser, R., Maier, H.R.: Modeling and numerical simulation of the electrical, mechanical, and thermal coupled behaviour of multilayer capacitors (MLCs). J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 22, 1285–1296 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lee, S.B., Kim, J.K.: A mechanistic model for fatigue life prediction of solder joints for electronic packages. Int. J. Fatigue 19(1), 85–91 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Li, X.Y., Yan, Y.C., Liu, N.: Study of plasticity damage mechanics constitutive model for SnAgCu solder joint. In: Proc. 2008 Int’l Conf. Electron. Packaging Tech. & High Density Packaging (ICEPT-HDP 2008), Shanghai, China, July 28–31, 2008Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rafanelli, A.J.: Ramberg-Osgood parameters for 63-37 Sn–Pb solder. Trans. ASME 114, 234 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hsueh, C.H., Ferber, M.K.: Apparent coefficient of thermal expansion and residual stresses in multilayer capacitors. Compos. Part A Appl. 33, 1115–1121 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Aboudi, J.: Mechanics of Composite Materials: A Unified Micromechanical Method. Elsevier, Amsterdam (1991)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Nemat-Nasser, S., Hori, M.: Micromechanics: Overall Properties of Heterogeneous Materials. North-Holland, Amsterdam (1993)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Jiang, W.G., Feng, X.Q., Yang, G., Yue, Z.X., Nan, C.W.: Influences of thickness and number of dielectric layers on residual stresses in micro multilayer ceramic capacitors. J. Appl. Phys. 101, 104117 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nakano, Y., Nomura, T., Takenaka, T.: Residual stress of multilayer ceramic capacitors with Ni-electrodes (Ni-MLCCs). Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 42, 6041–6044 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Shin, H., Jung, J.S., Hong, K.S.: Investigation of useful or deleterious residual thermal stress component to the capacitance of a multilayer ceramic capacitor. Microelectron. Eng. 77, 270–276 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE)University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations