How to «open» microchip and what’s inside? [DIY]

From pcbheaven Saturday, May 24, 2014

Microchips – are indeed can be considered a black box – as long as it’s working you normally don’t look inside.
But what if you want to?
Today Zeptobars guys will show how to “open” chips and what’s inside.
WARNING! All operations with concentrated (and especially hot) acids are extremely dangerous. Only trained persons should work with them using required protective equipment (acid-prof gloves, protection glasses, protective suit, fume hood and more). Remember that you only have 2 eyes!
This article is for educational purposes only, do not try to repeat!.
Take some microchips of interest and add concentrated sulfuric acid. Container should be closed, but not airtight, so that fumes can escape (that is extremely important). Heat it to boiling temperature (300 °C). White substance at the bottom is baking soda – it’s here to neutralize accidental spills and part of fumes.
After 30-40 minutes, acid “burns” plastic to carbon:
After it cools down, we can sort what is ready for next step and what needs another acid bath (thick, bulky packages usually need 2-3 rounds):
If pieces of carbon stuck to the microchip itself and cannot be removed mechanically, one can remove them in hot concentrated nitric acid (temperature is much lower, ~110-120 °C):
Visit Zeptobars site to see clickable color enhanced images of the chips (beware of 5-25Mb JPEG’s).

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