Abstract

A PCB trace was repeatedly cracking in the same location. Visual inspection showed cracking there and at structurally similar locations, with solder mask missing from one side of the trace of interest. Fracture analysis suggested that these issues and etch pitting caused crack initiation, followed by fatigue failure that ultimately led to full fracture. A FIB section of a second failure reinforced the finding that the fundamental cracking mechanism was fatigue.

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