Field failures of nichrome thin-film resistors have been investigated recently for several pieces of spaceflight hardware. These failures have involved resistance shifts ranging from a few percent to complete open circuits. Failure analysis and duplication of these failures have revealed that the failures were caused by electrostatic discharge. The failure characteristics and the circuit conditions necessary for failure have been studied for several types of thin-film resistors, including nichrome and tantalum nitride resistive elements. The effects of latent damage and resistive pattern design will also be discussed.

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