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Failure Analysis

When things go wrong and products fail it can lead to serious and sometime fatal consequences.

At Lucideon, our surface science experts can determine how and why a failure has occurred.

Utilizing surface and interface analysis failures such as:

  • Delaminations
  • Contamination
  • Disbondments
  • Packaging/Printing failure

...can be investigated.


Case Study:

Analysis of Die Surfaces for Determination of Failure

The device manufacturer experienced failure of devices where parts of the pins were no longer functional.

Optical microscopy revealed cracks in the top surface passivation layer for the failed devices. One explanation was that ionic contaminants, possibly present on the outermost surface, migrated through these cracks and caused breakdown in the device.

Comparative analysis of the surface of good and failed devices was carried out using ToF-SIMS to determine the presence, or otherwise, of ionic material to identify the possible cause of failure.

ToF-SIMS spectra indicated that the surface of control and failed devices were relatively similar with the detection, in both cases, of low levels of ionic contaminants and also organic residues.

Although the migration of ionic contaminants through the crack was one possibility for failure of the devices, an alternative possibility was also discovered.

Careful examination of the high mass resolution data showed an unexpected presence of copper on the surface of the failed devices.

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