SEM Lab, Inc. Document Collection

This page is a collection of documents and presentations that we have created based on failure mechanisms we have seen in the last 14 years. Please feel free to download the pdf files. Comments are appreciated (

Intermetallics in Solder Joints

The intermetallic compounds that have been most important in our work performing microstructural evaluations on solder joints are described in this paper.

Failure Analysis of LEDs

Paper describing various failure modes seen in Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).

Failure Analysis of BGAs

This document describes several BGA failure modes and analysis approaches that can be performed with a limited number of analytical tools (e.g. DMM, microsectioning, and SEM/EDS).

Gold Embrittlement of Solder Joints

A detailed account of how material and process parameters can lead to gold embrittlement of solder joints in electronic assemblies.

Failure Analysis of PCBAs

Failure mechanisms seen in PCBAs and how to avoid them.

Diffusion Barrier Plating in Electronics

This paper is a series of examples illustrating the use of diffusion barriers in electronics manufacturing.

Images of Failures in Microelectronic Packaging

A collection of images showing failures seen at SEM Lab, Inc.

Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Analysis

A more in-depth look at FTIR analysis.

Failure Analysis of Aluminum Electrolytic Capacitors

A guide to failure mechanisms and failure analysis techniques in aluminum electrolytic capacitors made available on Google Books.