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Grant Stockly 01-28-2005 10:21 AM

Decapping an IC
I tried disolving the epoxy on some PAL ICs to view under a microscope with the goal of reading the fuse map. I wasn't so successful. :(

We've got a hot plate, IR temperature probe, and a chunk of steel.

After about an hour, nothing. The hole on the chip to the right was milled in it with a dremel. It didn't help. The plate got hot enough at one point to light the nitric acid on fire. Not cool. Its a good thing I did the project in a negative pressure fume hood. :)

After doing this for an hour, I gave up. The acid is just too dilute. So I took it over to the surface polishing tools used for steel and took the plastic down to the silicon layer.

There is a bond wire in the plastic.

I think a lot of the black stuff is plastic that was left behind. I ground too heavily on one side and now it looks like a mirror, no traces at all. :(

The further you go down, the more black IC epoxy junk we see.

It was fun while it lasted. ;)

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