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Results are presented from thermal cycling experiments of electrical contacts, carried out to investigate possible failure mechanisms. The contacts were of thick-film silver and thin-film gold on thick-film yttrium barium copper oxide, the latter having been previously fired onto yttria-stabilised zirconia substrates. Continuous observation was made of a dc current passing through the samples, via thin copper wires and the cycling itself was a series of thermal shocks, produced by immersion of the samples in liquid nitrogen, followed by rapid warm-up over a temperature increment of 100 K. It was found that the method of attachment of the copper wires had the greatest effect on the reliability of the deposited contacts.
Date of Publication: June 1999