Failure Analysis of Resistors

Chip Resistor F/A

When doing resistor failure analysis the most common failure mechanism based on historical data seen at SEM Lab, Inc. is corrosion of the silver thick film conductor at the termination due to atmospheric corrosion by sulfur (e.g. H2S). This causes the resistance of the chip resistor to increase and ultimately results in an open circuit.  

Chip resistor failures and a cross-sectional image of a resistor are shown below. More information about chip resistor corrosion can be found here.




Other device failure analysis information:

chip resistor Failure Analysis

Chip resistor microsection.

Chip resistor microsection.

Corrosion of silver layer.

The nickel plating associated with the termination of this chip resistor had peeled back slightly, and the silver thickfilm conductor had corroded open.

Failure at laser trim of a chip resistor.

Failure at laser trim of a chip resistor.  The failure event vaporized alumina, silver conductor, ruthenium oxide resistor material and the cover glass layer.

Solder joint failure.

Solder joint failure. The arrow shows the most likely origin of the fracture, which propagated around the termination to complete fracture.