Electronic & Electrical Component Analysis

For more than 15 years and for a variety of clients, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has analyzed electronic and electrical components for quality, acceptability, failures, and ruggedness. In a specialized laboratory outfitted with sophisticated equipment, experienced analysts detect design weaknesses and construction flaws that could cause components to fail and isolate causes of in-service component failures.

Institute staff members use a scanning electron microscope and an energy-dispersive X-ray analyzer in failure and construction analysis of electronic and electrical components.

Component Analysis Services

  • Failure analysis
  • Construction analysis
  • Destructive physical analysis (DPA)
  • Design reviews
  • Component selection assistance
  • Vendor audits
  • Mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) computations
  • Component selection assistance
  • Qualification testing

The Institute traced this integrated circuit die failure to an accidental short circuit during manual probing of the circuit board. Future failures were avoided with more careful probing techniques.

Facilities and Equipment

High-magnification optical and scanning electron microscopes in SwRI's Component Analysis Laboratory are vibrationally isolated on a seismic pier. Ancillary facilities include a clean room and photographic darkroom. With extensive experience and state-of-the-art equipment, the Institute offers:

  • Scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM/EDX)
  • Scanning Auger electron spectrometry
  • X-radiography
  • Optical microscopy
  • Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR)
  • Decapsulation and delidding
  • Delayering and deprocessing (wet and dry chemistries)
  • Cross sectioning (mounted and unmounted)
  • Bond-wire and die-attach strength determination
  • Microprobing
  • Hermeticity testing
  • Instrumental chemical analysis

Pull and shear strengths of wire bonds, as well as shear strengths of die attaches, are determined using equipment in an SwRI clean room.

This brochure was published in May 1994. For more information about electronic and electrical component analysis, contact Stan Silvus, Phone (210) 522-2742, Fax (210) 647-4325, Applied Physics Division, Southwest Research Institute, P.O. Drawer 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510.

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