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On the Extension of Helium Fine Leak Test Based MIL-Spec to Packages with Sub-Micro Liter Volumes
Keywords: hermeticity, MIL-STD-883F, helium fine leak test
Hermeticity of packages is one of the most important design/manufacturing parameters in determining the reliability of the devices they enclose. Hermeticity has traditionally been characterized using tests based on MIL-STD guidelines. This paper reviews the applicability of the helium fine leak test guidelines prescribed in test conditions A1 and A2 of Method 1014.11 of the MIL-STD- 883F document. We show that the limits prescribed in test condition A1 are not stringent enough to detect the regime of ultra-fine leaks that must be detected in small volume packages. Further, in the helium fine leak test, there is a loss of one to one correspondence between the measured leak rate (R) and the true leak rate (L) for the volumes that are typical of packages in current applications (< 10-2 cc). Our analysis shows that this limits the applicability of test condition A2 to these packages. In fact, these tests can erroneously pass bad packages and fail good ones. In conclusion we use our analysis to obtain a domain of true leak rates, for a given package volume, that can be reliably tested using the existing test guidelines.
Arindam Goswami, Student
University of Maryland - CALCE
College Park, MD

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