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Nonlinear acoustic effects in multilayer ceramic capacitors



Ward L. Johnson, Sudook A. Kim, Timothy P. Quinn, Grady S. White


Nonlinear resonant acoustics was explored as an approach for nondestructively evaluating the susceptibility of BaTiO3-based multilayer ceramic capacitors to electrical failure during service. The acoustic nonlinearity was characterized through measurements of the dependence of the frequency of a selected dominant mode near 1.16 MHz on driving amplitude, employing direct ferroelectric tone-burst transduction, time-domain signal acquisition, and frequency-domain spectral analysis. Finite-element modeling and consideration of the symmetry of the excitation led to identification of the selected mode as the lowest-order extensional mode. Measurements as a function of the number of thermal treatments (of two types) provided evidence for increases in acoustic nonlinearity arising from thermal-stress-induced material damage. No evidence for further systematic treatment-induced changes in nonlinearity was found after nine heat treatments. Signals and analysis for some samples were complicated by the emergence of a second resonance in the waveforms and an apparent substantial reduction in acoustic nonlinearity as a function of time under DC bias. The second of these effects is suggested as being associated with changes in nonlinear elements of the material (presumably, microcracks) that arise from interactions of internal stresses during domain reorientation.
Proceedings Title
Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation
Conference Dates
July 15-20, 2012
Conference Location
Denver, CO


Barium Titanate, Ferroelectrics, Microcracks, Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors, Nonlinear Acoustics, Resonant Acoustics, Thermal Stress


Johnson, W. , Kim, S. , Quinn, T. and White, G. (2013), Nonlinear acoustic effects in multilayer ceramic capacitors, Review of Progress in Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation, Denver, CO, [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created January 25, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018