SUMMARYMore and more electronics are intended for use in adverse environments at high temperatures with high humidity. The spatial distributions of internal charge carriers, mainly due to ionic impurities that appear in hot and humid environments, are considered to affect the reliability of bulk insulation. Therefore, the authors examined space charge behavior inside paper/phenol-resin composites for printed circuit boards under DC voltages, focusing on the effect of the water absorption temperature. Both the sample weight and thickness were increased monotonically by immersion in water with an increase in the water temperature from 24°C to 85 °C, indicating that the water absorption by the sample was temperature dependent. In the early periods of water absorption (up to 10 hours), the electric field decreased near the two electrodes and increased in the other regions. Furthermore, heterocharge formation was observed near the cathode as the water absorption progressed, becoming more significant at higher water temperatures. Ion chromatography analyses detected numerous ions such as Na + , NH 4 + , and Cl -from the water, in which the sample had been immersed for 100 hours at various temperatures. It is highly possible that these ions are responsible for the heterocharge formation.
Pulsed electroacoustic (PEA) method was applied as a nondestructive method to detect electrochemical migration in a sheet of epoxy resin and a sheet of laminate consisting of the same resin and a paper/phenol-resin composite. A significant decrease in the amount of negative charge was observed at the interface between the resin and the composite when the sample was the laminate. This is assumed to be due to the progress of electrochemical migration in the thickness direction. On the other hand, such a change in charge density was hardly observed when the sample was a sheet of epoxy resin. The electric field intensity in the epoxy resin layer in the laminate is assumed to be significantly enhanced, since the resistivity is much higher in the epoxy resin than in the composite. This seems to be the main reason why the electrochemical migration was induced only in the epoxy layer in the laminate. This means that observation of electrochemical migration in epoxy resin by the PEA method becomes possible by forming a laminate structure using the epoxy resin and paper/phenol-resin composite.
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