The Effect of Concentration of and Exposure to Sulfuric Acid on Circuit Corrosion

The objective of this experiment was to determine if the concentration of sulfuric acid, H2SO4, and time of exposure to the acid had a significant effect on the degree to which an integrated circuit prong corrodes. To accomplish this objective the researchers performed an experiment in which H2SO4, sulfuric acid, was dripped on the integrated circuit, IC, at a constant rate. The concentrations of sulfuric acid varied from one molarity to five molarity and with a standard value of three molarity to represent the range of concentration in common battery types. The times of exposure values were chosen to represent the leakage of different amounts of acid in different battery types.

To quantify the degree of corrosion a picture was taken of each IC through a microscope before and after each trial. The researchers then laid a scaled grid on each picture and determined the number of grid squares in which obvious corrosion appeared and thus calculated the percent corroded of the prong.

A 2-factor design of experiment (DOE) was performed on the data to find if there were any significant effects. A test of significance was conducted on the factor values from the DOE and found that none of the factors were significant. This means that the degree of corrosion of the IC prong did not change as concentration or exposure time changed. In addition there was not a significant interaction effect between the two factors which means that as molarity and time exposed change the degree of corrosion does not change. With this research, the producers and consumers of electronic devices do not need to be concerned of the increase or decreased of corrosion on the circuits in their devices as molarity or the length of exposure change.

Research Done By:

Seth Fleming
South Lake High School

Paul Ross
Warren Mott High School