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Nonlinear resonant acoustic detection of cracks in multilayer ceramic capacitors



Ward L. Johnson, Sudook A. Kim, Grady S. White, Jaemi Herzberger


Abstract—Measurements of resonant ultrasonic frequencies of multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) were performed as a function of excitation amplitude to assess the potential of nonlinear acoustic methods for sensing the presence of cracks. The ultimate objective of this work is to establish an approach for nondestructively screening MLCCs for susceptibility to failure that arises from the evolution of structural flaws into electrical pathways during service. Direct ferroelectric tone-burst transduction and time-domain signal analysis were used to measure the frequency of an extensional mode near 1 MHz in BaTiO3-based MLCCs with interleaved Ag electrodes. The capacitors were subjected to thermal stress by quenching from 189 °C into ice water, which led to generation of visible surface-breaking cracks in a fraction of the MLCCs. The amplitude dependence of the resonant frequencies was found to be strongly correlated with the presence of visible cracks.
Proceedings Title
2014 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium
Conference Dates
September 3-6, 2014
Conference Location
Chicago, IL


acoustics, barium titanate, capacitors, ceramic capacitors, cracks, ferroelectric transduction, MLCC, NDE, nondestructive evaluation, nonlinear elasticity, resonant ultrasonics, thermal stress


Johnson, W. , Kim, S. , White, G. and Herzberger, J. (2014), Nonlinear resonant acoustic detection of cracks in multilayer ceramic capacitors, 2014 IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, Chicago, IL, [online], (Accessed May 25, 2024)


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Created September 3, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018