Failure Analysis

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Optical Microscopy

Optical Microscopy is one of the most widely used non-destructive failure analysis tool because it is rapid and convenient in locating and identifying most external defects. When used in conjunction with micro-sectioning, it can be a very powerful tool.

CALCE has optical inspection tools over a broad range of magnifications, including a Nikon D70S Digital Camera with specialized focusing lenses, NIKON Stereoscope (magnifications 6x to 40x) with frame grabbing capability, and ZEISS Axiovert Microscope (magnifications 25x to 1000x). As part of CALCE's push toward state-of-the-art services, all optical inspection equipment uses digital imaging.

The ZEISS Axiovert Microscope is the latest generation of high quality, inverted optical microscopes. Patented design eliminates vibration and optimizes image quality. All contrasting techniques, such as brightfield (BF), darkfield (DF), and differential interference contrast (DIC) are possible. The wide range of magnification, use of standard or UV light sources, and digital imaging provides for flexibility in failure analysis beyond those of standard optical microscopes.

Optical micrograph of the cross-section of a Fe/Ni lead/Sn-Pb solder joint. Abnormal copper and nickel plating resulted in early failure of this component (mag. x2000)