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ElectroComponent Science and Technology
Volume 8 (1981), Issue 3-4, Pages 167-174

Reliability Evaluation of Thick Film Resistors Through Measurement of Third Harmonic Index

Production Engineering Research Laboratory, Hitachi Ltd., Totsuka-ku, Yokohama 244, Japan

Copyright © 1981 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The degradation mechanism of ruthenium-based thick film resistors is investigated in accelerated tests under various conditions of humidity, temperature and overload stress. This study shows that the variation of resistance is mainly caused by hydration and dehydration in the conductive component RuO2:RuO2+xH2ORuO2xH2O. In addition to measuring resistance, the Third Harmonic Index (THI) is studied as the characteristic which may indicate the degree of various defects in resistors. A strong correlation exists between “the initial THI” and “the variation rate of resistance during an accelerated test”. A resistor which indicates a quite large initial THI shows remarkable variation of resistance, and has scratches and/or foreign substances on the surface of the thick film resistor. As a result, it becomes evident that the initial THI can be used to predict the stability of a resistor in a nondestructive test.