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March 21, 2011 AT 9:31 am

Using Heat Shock to Open an IC Package

John McMaster writes:

Many people use concentrated acids to decapsulate ICs. One alternative is to heat them up to a high temperature and then drop them to a low temperature quickly. The high temperature was supplied by a butane torch and the cold temperature from a salted ice water bath. From the brief experiments I did today, the ideal chip seems to be large, have a metal plate (large expansion constant difference), and have a passivation layer that expands under heat (pushes epoxy off of die). This chip has all three and was decapsulated in less than a minute. It does have some small amount of residue on it, but chips can be cleaned in various ways.

Cool!


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2 Comments

  1. Note to budding photog/videographers:

    Avoid having a light source behind the subject. It will be impossible to decipher any details of what you’re trying to demonstrate. Arrange it so the the light source is at least nearly behind the camera.

  2. Very good, ’twas qite awsome.

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