Incipient Failure Detection - The Detection of Certain Contaminating Processes
Three separate and distinct electrolytic and one galvanic process were identified by visual inspection, metallographic, electron microprobe, and x-ray diffraction analysis in a clocked, flip-flop integrated circuit flat pack and/or the associated printed circuit test jig (two on flat pack and two on circuit board). These four processes were all found to be detectable by the use of noise measurements in microvolts per root cycle at 1000 Hz (cycles per second). The direct current applied for noise measurement to the integrated circuit devices was 100 micro-amperes, as compared to the 6-8 milliamperes required for normal operation. After initial experimentation, the devices were caused to fail in a laboratory ambient environment, followed by an acceleration of the rate of electrolytic reaction through the use of essentially 100 percent relative humidity, versus the upper specification limit of 80 to 98% relative humidity.