KEMET’s F-Tech and Simulated Breakdown Screening (SBDS) technology breakthroughs allow the Company to deliver solid tantalum capacitors with the industry’s best reliability and highest breakdown voltages (BDVs). This technology meets the needs of engineers designing for medical, aerospace, defense and other high-reliability applications. It includes manufacturing processes for improved dielectric quality, mechanical robustness and a patented screening technique for simulating breakdown voltage. Combined with industry-leading reliability and breakdown voltage (BDV), these technologies also ensure that KEMET’s high-grade tantalum capacitors for high reliability designs feature low and stable DC leakage currents.
KEMET’s F-Tech tantalum manufacturing technology, recently named as a finalist for a 2014 Elektra Award, features techniques for optimizing chemical purity to eliminate hidden dielectric defects that could continue to grow in the field, leading to capacitor failure. Incorporating multiple process technologies, F-Tech is an improved approach to anode manufacturing based on a fundamental understanding of degradation mechanisms in tantalum capacitors. Some of the processes minimize an anode’s carbon and oxygen content as these elements can become contaminants that lead to crystallization of the anodic oxide dielectric. Another process technology enhances reliability by ensuring a stronger mechanical connection between the tantalum lead wire and the anode.
Simulated Breakdown Screening (SBDS)
The Company’s patented Simulated Breakdown Screening (SBDS) is a non-destructive testing technique that simulates capacitor BDV without damaging the capacitor. This screening is performed on 100% of product when required. Traditional DC leakage (DCL) tests cannot detect small defects in the dielectric and performing these tests at accelerated conditions can actually induce more defects. Breakdown voltage is the ultimate test of a capacitor dielectric, with a higher BDV indicating a stronger dielectric that will deliver higher reliability in the field. By evaluating the BDV of each and every capacitor, SBDS testing allows KEMET to provide customers with only the most reliable capacitors from a given lot.