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Advanced Measurement Solutions for Electronic Device Quality Control

The benefits of digital microscopy

Published: Monday, June 5, 2017 - 12:01

Sponsored Content

Digital microscopes combine high-quality optical systems with the ease of use of a digital device for the efficient management of industrial quality control workflows.

Accurate inspection and measurement no longer depend on in-depth microscopy knowledge. Digital microscopes display clear, high-resolution images on a monitor for more comfortable, intuitive operation by any user, regardless of experience. On-screen viewing is ideal for multiple users, discussions, and training, and also helps to speed up analyses.

Digital Microscopy at a Glance
• Intuitive operation and visualization
• Efficient alternative to traditional methods
• Brings industrial quality control into the digital era
• Manages the complete analysis, measurement, and reporting workflow

Rapid analysis for quicker decisions

Rapid analysis enables quicker decision making, and Olympus’ DSX series of digital microscopes provide an ideal platform for fast and accurate investigation, measurement, and reporting for a range of sample types.

Olympus’ best image function provides an on-screen display of multiple capture settings, enabling less-experienced users to pick the most insightful imaging technique. This also presents an ideal resource for operator training. Because samples are captured using a range of optical techniques, a new operator can learn by example when to use a particular observation method. In addition to these standard observation methods, the highlight function points out specific features of interest in a chosen color, while the remaining sample is shown in black and white.

In regular structures—such as memory chips—where multiple locations are repeated, it can be difficult to determine where one frame ends and the next begins, even at high magnifications. The DSX series’ motorized stage is controlled by a fully automated, high-precision adjustment mechanism to provide a high degree of accuracy when overlaying individual images. It’s easy for users to maintain their orientation on the specimen—even when the image is reduced or enlarged—as the Macro Map function always displays the viewpoint on-screen.

Reporting documentation includes observation settings as well as results, so analysis and measurement information can be rapidly fed back to R&D or production, or shared for training purposes.

Electronics manufacturing: inspecting for contaminants in printed circuit board (PCB) through-holes

As electronic devices become smaller, through-holes on the printed circuit board (PCB) become denser. At the same time, manufacturers are placing an emphasis on the quality of the through-holes. When a through-hole is bored, a smear of resin melted during the drilling process may remain. When the board is plated, the resin smear prevents conduction with the inner copper foil and results in a state of disconnection. It is essential to check for the presence of resin smears before plating. Even after plating, contaminated holes may cause electric resistance to change and cause a short circuit, so it is also important to check that there is no contamination in the holes.

Contaminants sticking to the inner wall of a through-hole occur at different heights, so vertical-direction focusing is required during observation with a microscope. With the extended focal image (EFI) function of Olympus' DSX510 digital microscope, the focus is shifted in the height direction while maintaining a clear view, enabling the system to automatically create a fully focused image of the entire hole. The DSX510 microscope provides a variety of observation methods such as brightfield, darkfield, MIX (a combination of brightfield and darkfield), differential interference, and polarization. Users select the observation method that best suits their application with a single click, helping eliminate the complicated settings and adjustments required by conventional microscopes. The inner wall of the through-hole is dark and difficult to see in reflected illumination, but adding transmitted illumination enables much better confirmation of the contaminants. By using both reflected and transmitted illumination, the surface of the board and the inner wall of the hole can be observed simultaneously.

Image 1: A variety of observation methods. Click here for larger image.

Edge analysis of semiconductor chip dicing

The final process of semiconductor manufacturing is the separation of integrated circuits (ICs) and large-scale integrations (LSIs) that have been created on the same wafer into separate chips (i.e., the dicing process). A scribe line, approximately 100 μm in width, is created between the chips to enable separation. The smaller the width of this line, the more effectively chips can be created from a wafer. There is a strong demand for improved accuracy of the wafer-dicing technology.

A variety of advanced dicing technologies have been developed in recent years, such as half-cut dicing and stealth dicing. To manage the quality of the dicing process, it is important to analyze the edge surface of the chips to avoid creating flaws, which can be caused by dull blades or inappropriate dicing conditions.

The DSX510 digital microscope is equipped with differential interference contrast inspection technology to enable clear inspection of minute cracks in a diced surface. The DSX510 microscope can easily capture 3D images, enabling the creation of an accurate image of the surface shape of the edge.

Image 2: Edge analysis of chip dicing (chip dicing surface objective lens 50×, zoom 1×)

Faster analysis enables faster decision making. As microscopy techniques advance in both performance and complexity, digital microscopy simplifies inspections for operators, making it the ideal solution for industrial quality control, streamlined imaging, and measurement.

For additional information, visit www.olympus-ims.com/microscope.


About The Author

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Olympus is a precision technology leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions and breakthrough technology in product design and functionality in its core business areas: cameras and audio products, industrial measurement and imaging instruments, life science imaging systems, and medical and surgical products. Olympus also serves health care and commercial laboratory markets with financial, educational, and consulting services. Olympus NDT Inc., located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is the U.S. marketing, manufacturing, and sales headquarters for ultrasonic and eddy current testing instruments.