Conductive anodic filament enhancement in the presence of a polyglycol - containing flux

W. J. Ready*, L. J. Turbini, S. R. Stock, B. A. Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Under certain environmental conditions, printed wiring boards (PWB) respond to applied voltages by developing subsurface deposits of copper salts extending from anode to cathode along separated fiber/epoxy interfaces. These deposits are termed conductive anodic filaments (CAF). In this work, the dimensions and growth patterns of a CAF has been determined by serial sectioning. The CAF growth pathway is characterized and the spatial distribution of the copper salts is quantified with scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The chemical composition of the CAF is determined using energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDX). The failure phenomena known as CAF poses serious long term reliability risks in electronic applications where the PWB is exposed to adverse and hostile environments or those with closely spaced conductors. Recent ion chromatography results indicate a correlation between the polyglycol and halide content of the soldering flux, and a substrate's susceptibility to CAF formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalAnnual Proceedings - Reliability Physics (Symposium)
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 34th Annual IEEE International Reliability Physics - Dallas, TX, USA
Duration: Apr 30 1996May 2 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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