Device and Materials Failure Analysis Examples

Device Examples, Materials Examples, Cross-Section Examples and Miscellaneous Examples


At SEM Lab, Inc. our goal is to identify the root cause failure mechanisms.  This involves working with our clients to determine the scope of analysis required to achieve this goal.  The failure analysis process may include external visual inspection, photography, electrical measurements of the samples, which is often followed by other techniques (optical, SEM, EDS, FTIR, X-ray, and other measurements) to analyze the material and/or the failure.  When the analysis is complete, a comprehensive report is provided to the client.  

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images are often necessary to adequately determine a root cause failure mechanism. Below are some links to examples of samples analyzed at SEM Lab, Inc. They are divided into 4 sections: Devices, Materials, Cross-Sections and Miscellaneous

IC Failure Analysis: Gold wire bond on aluminum die pad on decapsulated plastic molded IC.

Device Examples

Examples of various devices analyzed at SEM Lab, Inc.

Pb dendrite

Materials Examples

Some materials analysis examples seen in the lab.

A BGA solder joint cross section.


Various examples of cross sections analyzed at SEM Lab, Inc.

This is a plated thru hole (PTH) solder joint where the land on the solder side of the board has lifted due to a combination of excessive z-axis expansion of the laminate during wave solder and shrinkage stress in the solder fillet on cool down.


Analysis examples that don’t fit into the other categories.