Evaluation of 10V Chip Polymer Tantalum Capacitors for Space ApplicationsDue to low ESR and safe failure mode, new technology chip polymer tantalum capacitors (CPTC) have gained popularity in the electronics design community, first in commercial applications, and now in hi-rel and space systems. The major drawbacks of these parts are high leakage currents, degradation under environmental stresses, and a relatively narrow temperature range of operating and storage conditions. Several studies have shown that a certain amount of moisture in polymer cathodes is necessary for a normal operation of the parts. This might limit applications of CPTCs in space systems and requires analysis of long-term exposure to deep vacuum conditions on their performance and reliability. High leakage currents and limited maximum operational temperature complicate accelerated testing that is necessary to assess long-term reliability and require new screening and qualification procedures for quality assurance. A better understanding of behavior of CPTCs as compared to traditional, MnO2, capacitors is necessary to develop adequate approaches for QA system for space applications. A specific of CPTCs is that different materials and processes might be used for low-voltage (10 V and less) and high-voltage (above 10 V) capacitors, so performance and degradation processes in these groups require separate analysis. In this work, that is a part of the NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging (NEPP) program, degradation of AC and DC characteristics under environmental stresses at different temperatures and voltages have been studied in nine lots of commercial and automotive grade capacitors rated to 10 V. Results of analysis of leakage currents, high temperature storage (HTS) up to 5000 hrs in vacuum and air at different temperatures, and Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) in the range from 85 C to 145 C are presented. Temperature and voltage acceleration factors were calculated based on approximation of distributions of degradation rates with a general log-linear Weibull model. Mechanisms of degradation and failures, and requirements for screening and qualification testing are discussed.
Teverovsky, Alexander A. (ASRC Federal Space and Defense Greenbelt, MD, United States)
August 17, 2016
August 15, 2016
Publication: NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging (NEPP) Program