Prof. Dr. Rajan Ambat
Electronic devices, components, and products world-wide today face corrosion reliability issues resulting in premature fault and intermittent or permanent failures due to humidity exposure. The humidity related functionality issues and corrosion problems compromise the durability and reliability of the devices resulting in huge economic loss. Often a faulty signal or erroneous function by an electronic device is linked to the water layer formation on the surface of the printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) resulting from the humidity exposure and the water layer acting as electrolyte for electrochemical processes. Problem is compounded today due to a number of factors specific to the electronic devices such as miniaturization, high level of integration, and multi-material usage on the PCBA. These factors together with the applied potential bias when the device is working and contamination introduced during the manufacturing process causes a number of humidity related failure modes in electronics. Today electronic devices and control systems are part of almost all installations exposing them to all climatic conditions from clean room to severe offshore conditions.
Corrosion failure modes under humidity exposure conditions includes: leak current failures due to surface insulation reduction, electrochemical migration, galvanic corrosion due to micro-galvanic cell formation, creep corrosion, and corrosion caused by gaseous environment. Leak current and electrochemical migration issues are of particular importance due to the possibility of intermittent or permanent electrical functionalities issues causing device breakdown.
Both industrial electronics and consumer electronics suffer from corrosion reliability issues and the exposure conditions vary from humid to harsh environments. Therefore, incorporating enhanced corrosion performance in the design is relevant for all, which needs collaborative effort between interdisciplinary areas namely electronics, electrical, and corrosion specialists enabling remedial measures based on proper understanding of corrosion and electrochemical mechanisms.
The vision of this task group is to build the necessary interdisciplinary understanding required for solving the corrosion reliability issues at European level merging the expertise of various actors and to identify the industrial, and research and development needs, share knowledge and ideas, and develop information net-work at international level.
Research and development
This task force focus on understanding the root cause for humidity related failures based on corrosion and electrochemical mechanisms combined with electronics and electrical aspects. Improved understanding will be useful for developing mitigation strategies and predictive tools for PCBA and device design at various levels. Task force will focus on sharing and comparing information on various test methods and methodologies used for analysis.
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the subject, the knowledge sharing between various actors is an important part of the task force net-working activity. Organization of workshops, seminars, and symposia with respect to the basic understanding and industrial application will be part of this strategy.
Main interests for the Task force, but not limited to are:
And prospective industrial sectors for the Task Force include:
A workshop on “Corrosion reliability of electronics devices” as part of the EUROCORR has been organized from 2013, and will be part of EUROCORR 2016, Montpellier, France.
A Task Force meeting is being planned as part of the workshop and all interested participants of the conference are invited to attend. See conference programme (available in July 2016) for more details.