A Study of Field Crystallization in Tantalum Capacitors and its Effect on DCL and Reliability

A Study of Field Crystallization in Tantalum Capacitors and its Effect on DCL and Reliability
Written By: T.Zednicek | J. Sikula | H.Leibovitz

Abstract:
Tantalum has been the preferred capacitor technology for use in long lifetime electronic devices thanks to the stability of its electric parameters and high reliability. Failure rate performance measurements over time show a decreasing number of failures resulting in practically no wear out – unlike some other capacitor technologies. As in basically any material at temperatures above absolute zero there are processes that can lead to deterioration of the capacitor, there are also self-healing processes that are more effective that result in an overall failure rate reduction. Despite this phenomenon there are some known degradation mechanisms – field crystallization of amorphous dielectric Ta2O5 and oxygen migration [14]. This paper summarizes the current status of knowledge concerning field crystallization, focusing on acceleration factors and the practical effects of field crystallization with respect to DCL and the reliability of tantalum capacitors.
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