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J. Korean Ceram. Soc. > Volume 58(4); 2021 > Article
Journal of the Korean Ceramic Society 2021;58(4): 445-451.
doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s43207-021-00121-9
Characterizing electrical breakdowns upon reoxidation atmosphere for reliable multilayer ceramic capacitors
Daehee Lee, Kwanwoo Song, Dongjun Jung, Bermha Cha, Myungjun Park, Jonghan Kim, Jong Ho Lee
MLCC Development Team , Samsung ElectroMechanics Co., Ltd , 150 Maeyoung-ro , Suwon 16674 , Republic of Korea
Correspondence  Jong Ho Lee ,Email: jh205.lee@samsung.com
Received: January 13, 2021; Revised: March 28, 2021   Accepted: April 5, 2021.  Published online: July 31, 2021.
Electrical breakdowns of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) manifest an increase in leakage current and are characterized as a function of atmospheric reoxidation. The atmospheric reoxidation is controlled with respect to the theoretical oxygen partial pressure for the oxidation of Ni internal electrodes. The breakdowns are characterized by a Maxwell–Wagner polarization technique, which dominantly exhibits space-charge-limited and Poole–Frenkel currents for all measured samples. The threshold voltage for the transition between these two conduction modes is suggested as an index for the robustness of the grain boundary resistance of BaTiO3; therefore, the breakdown voltage. The reoxidation atmosphere, which prevents the Ni oxidation, increases the threshold voltage, dramatically enhancing the breakdown voltage and insulation resistance. Impedance spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy–energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy reveal that the cation distribution throughout BaTiO3 grains and grain boundaries changes during the reoxidation, including Ni cations from the internal electrodes, which affects the grain boundary resistance and determines the breakdown voltage of MLCCs with Ni internal electrodes. These observations emphasize that the reoxidation should be concurrently optimized in terms of the cation redistribution and elimination of oxygen vacancies.
Key words: Multilayer ceramic capacitors · BaTiO 3 · Ni electrode · Space charge layer · Electrical breakdown
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