Apparatus and method for decapsulating packaged integrated circuits

  • US 9,991,142 B2
  • Filed: 06/01/2015
  • Issued: 06/05/2018
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/19/2011
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A system for decapsulating a portion of an encapsulated integrated circuit that includes copper elements, comprising:

  • one or more containers holding specific etchant solutions;

    a pump having an inlet port connected to the one or more containers holding specific etchant solutions, and an outlet port;

    a heat exchanger assembly comprising a temperature-controlled metal block having a fluid inlet into the metal block connected to the pump outlet port, and an outlet port from the metal block, and serpentine passages communicating from the fluid inlet, through the metal block, to the outlet port;

    one or more thermo-electric modules in contact with the metal block of the heat exchanger assembly, the thermo-electric modules operable to either heat or cool the metal block;

    control circuitry controlling operation of the one or more thermo-electric modules, thereby controlling temperature of the metal block, and also controlling operation of the pump; and

    flow and temperature sensors coupled to the control circuitry;

    wherein etchant temperature at the outlet of the metal block is controlled by operation of the one or more thermo-electric modules, to be at or below ambient temperature, and etchant mixture at or below ambient temperature is delivered via a delivery conduit to an encapsulation surface of an encapsulated integrated circuit, decapsulating a portion of encapsulated circuit, minimizing damage to the copper elements.

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