SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Alternative Methods for Cross-Sectioning of SMT and PCB Related Architectures

Author: Manuel J. Solis
Company: Foresite Inc.
Date Published: 9/27/2015   Conference: SMTA International


Abstract: The electronics industry has been using the epoxy puck for the processing of the vast majority of electronics microsections since the 1970s. Minimal advancements have been seen in the methods used for precision micro-sections of PCBs, PCBAs, and device packages. This paper will discuss different techniques and approaches in performing precision and analytical micro-sections, which fuse the techniques and materials common in preparation of silicon wafers and bulk materials. These techniques have not only been found to produce excellent optical results, but transfer effectively to SEM for high-magnification inspection and further analysis with minimal post-lapping preparation needed. Additionally, processing time is reduced primarily due to a significant reduction of bulk material removal earlier in the preparation, therefore needing less removal at later lapping steps compared to traditional sectioning methods. Additional techniques are introduced that mitigate some classic challenges experienced by technicians over the decades.

Key Words: 

cross-section, preparation, micro-section, microscopes, epoxy, lapping, polishing



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