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Integrated Circuit (IC) Decapsulation and Die Verification

A new JetEtch decapsulation in the lab that is used to examine semiconductor die embedded in plastic epoxy packages for authenticity.

Here is a brief review of how it works:

Gasket and Part Mating

Choose the correct gasket, ideally, utilizing either a location plate or location gasket. If there is not one that fits a particular IC, we use a single definition gasket. Once a suitable gasket is found, the leaves must be flattened to obtain a nice flat backing surface. This is done by simply pressing the gasket against a table. Next, we apply the IC centrally to the definition gasket with a small amount of vacuum grease. A couple dabs on the IC will help it temporarily adhere to the gasket and keep it stabilized while on the etching machine.

The Etching Process

After the gasket and IC are aligned correctly, they are ready for the etching process. The appropriate programming is selected on the etch machine, setting it to run using only nitric acid, at 90 degrees Celsius, for an etch time of 130 seconds. We also ensure there is an etch volume of three, with a heat-up time of 60 seconds. Once the settings have been saved, the parameters are listed and checked on the Decapsulate Menu. After confirming the parameters, the IC and gasket are aligned on the etch head. Then, a Teflon blank is placed on top of the parts to evenly apply pressure. Lastly, prior to starting the process on the machine, we have acetone readily available to help neutralize the acid and clean the IC and gasket after their removal from the machine (a total of 200-215 seconds).

Checking the Results

As the end of the etching nears, the machine will run a waste purge. After the purge, the IC and gasket are removed using a pair of tweezers and rinsed separately in acetone. The IC can be dropped into an acetone bath and fished back out, or it can be held onto and rinsed with a bottle of acetone instead. As for the gasket, it’s important not to leave it in acetone for too long, so we give it a quick spritz and towel dry it immediately afterward. This will prevent it from swelling and losing its ability to be a good seal.

The Microscope

Once the items have completed the etching process, they are placed under a microscope to locate, analyze, and inspect the dye. We search for any part marking information that can be verifiable and matched with exterior parts or markings. This includes logos, part numbers and other markers of that nature.

Need IC Testing?

USBid, Inc.'s in-house test facility-- AAA Test Lab technical staff is comprised of engineers with semiconductor industry experience in test development, device characterization, and failure analysis. AAA offers test and analysis capabilities developed specifically to provide counterfeit detection analysis compliant with all aspects of AS6081.

Contact our USBid, Inc. team at (321) 725-9565 for any IC testing needs you may have.

 

Author   by Blog Admin
  September 1, 2019

 

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