Opening an IC

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Voltboy, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
    0
    Hey guys.
    I was reading the other day on what are inside IC's.
    So basically I know there is a semiconductor die inside.
    I scrapped an old alarm about a week ago and have some IC's that I don't need and I want to open them and see the inside by myself, do anyone know how to open it up?
    It's a 42-DIP.

    Thanks
     
  2. eeboy

    Active Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    90
    1
    I've read articles on people reverse engineering IC's by several methods. The method they use to uncap the IC involved all kinds of caustic chemicals. It was a nasty process for sure.

    Google it... I am sure the answer is still out there.
     
  3. Distort10n

    Active Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    429
    1
    I do not know what the chemicals are used to decapsulate the IC, but it is done every day. Semiconductor companies often do this for mechanical inspection, probe, and test (failure analysis).
    I believe lasers can be used as well to decap the package.
     
  4. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
    6
    I opened one with a chisel once. I recall it took a dozen or so before I got one right.
     
  5. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
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    Do you think if I drill a hole I could insert something and push the top?
     
  6. thingmaker3

    Retired Moderator

    May 16, 2005
    5,072
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    Maybe... I'd try a hole along the same plane as the legs enter. Perhaps a few holes along that same plane would create a nice stress raiser for a crack to propagate from.
     
  7. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
    0
    I will try tomorrow, if I start drilling all my house gonna wake up and my dad gonna get pissed.
     
  8. mrmeval

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 30, 2006
    833
    2
    I have some cold war era VLSI chips that are encased in metal cans. You file off one end and can open them like sardine cans. ;-) They have solid gold connections to the dies.

    If you want to view a chips internals get a UV erasable eprom. It has a window.

    The simplest way to open one is a sheet of sand paper and and nice flat table. Rub the top against the sand paper and check often. It does take forever. I have done it on a grinder but it's trickier.
     
  9. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    If you are going to open any semiconductor package in a home workshop take precautions against breathing the dust generated. Try to collect the dust and dispose of it and the dead chip safely so they are not left lying around.
     
  10. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    15,815
    282
    Back in undergrad days,I did a course on invertebrate paleontology. We thin sectioned fusilinids (sic?) by using aluminum oxide grit in water on a glass plate. The fusilinid was fixed with balsam gum to a workpiece. 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper might work very well.

    Somewhat the same method could be used to get down to the die in an ic. Don't expect to get it to work after this.
     
  11. cumesoftware

    Senior Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    1,330
    10
    I use a method that preserves the die intact. It consists on burning the chip enclosure until it is almost ash. It takes some time, but it will be done when the IC is red hot and doesn't release fumes anymore.

    I used this method with a small PIC microcontroler and it worked. The die wasn't even chipped. You can see the structures with naked eye.

    An advice: do it outside, because the smell is unbarable.
     
  12. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    I've had several chips pop open with a torch while salvaging parts of large PCBs. I usually remove ICs that I want to keep with an iron, so wasn't too concerned about damage. The die is very small, but pretty cool under a microscope.
     
  13. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
    0
    Hey guys.
    I tried drilling it at it doesn't work.
    I will try the sandpaper trick.
     
  14. lightingman

    Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2007
    374
    22
    Just look through the window of an EPROM if you want to see a chip.Daniel.
     
  15. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
    0
    I don't got an EPROM and where I live it cost me about $20 for shipping.
     
  16. HarveyH42

    Active Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    425
    5
    EPROMs are fairly common salvage, old computers, printers, cable boxes, satelite, some VCR... The window is normally covered with a label or something similar. The window isn't for watching, it's for exposing to UV light to erase it.
     
  17. Voltboy

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    197
    0
    I salvaged a printer and a VCR some days ago and didn't found EPROM's. Just motors, stepper motors and other things.

    duh :rolleyes:
     
  18. doggiedoc

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2004
    51
    0
    Yoda -

    I've probably got some salvaged EPROMS laying around here. I'll take a look and if so I can drop one in the mail to you.

    Doc
     
  19. arthur92710

    Active Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    307
    1
    does a 555 have a die? I just opened one and all there was is a white square.

    [​IMG]


    Now I got to go take something else apart....
     
  20. doggiedoc

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2004
    51
    0
    Here's an eprom.....
     
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