Collin’s Lab Notes: Exploratory IC Torching

Technology
Collin’s Lab Notes: Exploratory IC Torching
https://youtube.com/watch?v=qsP06waTvQY%26%23038%3Ben%26%23038%3Bfs%3D1

After a recent post on the topic, I decided to experiment with a bit of IC decapping by way of propane torch. My first chip roast went relatively well allowing access to the precious chip within. I imagine a more evenly distributed & thorough torching would have made the hammer unnecessary – but I was happy with it as a first try.

Now I find myself in need of better optics – anyone have any microscope recommendations?

Update: Already some very helpful tips rolling in! –

Marc writes –

The hottest part of a flame is the tip of the inner cone (blue part). You should never touch the cone to the workpiece. (sorry, I majored in product design – metals)

Duly noted and thanks!

Keith writes –

Boy Scout tip — be careful heating porous rock and concrete. If it has a high moisture content and the water boils faster than it can be driven out, the rock could potentially explode.

It certainly doesn’t look like that was an issue here, but one might recommend baking the moisture out at < 100°C for a while before torching.

Another reason I should’ve stayed in Scouts. Good point.

9 thoughts on “Collin’s Lab Notes: Exploratory IC Torching

  1. Keith Neufeld says:

    Boy Scout tip — be careful heating porous rock and concrete. If it has a high moisture content and the water boils faster than it can be driven out, the rock could potentially explode.

    It certainly doesn’t look like that was an issue here, but one might recommend baking the moisture out at < 100°C for a while before torching. Love the delicate hammer technique. :-)

    1. Collin Cunningham says:

      That makes a lot of sense – definitely an important factor to keep in mind here.

      Though it is some sort of garden plaque that I used, it was never actually left outdoors and was stored in a dry place – so thankfully this was not an issue.

      glad you appreciate the precision hammering – years of practice!

  2. George says:

    There are some great maker type microscope projects on the web…
    I have done the VanLeeuwenhoek type described on funsci.com and it works great, also I have done some experiments with microscopy using lenses from disposable cameras with some success, also, try a scavenged fax machine objective lens at very close distance ( almost touching the subject ) with very strong illumination – cheap, easy and effective.

  3. friedgeek.myopenid.com says:

    I found an EyeClops TV microscope at Big Lots (mass discount store) for $20. Add 4 AAs and plug the RCA into a TV and you get 200x magnification. (Some models go up to 400x) I used my old Canon ZR100 as an analog bridge and plugged it into it then firewired the canon into my MacBook Pro and recorded directly into iMovie.

    Sample video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZReFrfzJ94

    Something like that would be a cheap way to get 200x + magnification.

    Cheers.

  4. Pat Armstrong says:

    Making a scope would be the more fullfilling way to go but I recieved an eyeclops toy for christmas a couple years ago and found it the best solution for putting microscopic video onto the pc. For micro photography I have a t mount for my dslr that is designed for telecopes but works for microscopes.

  5. Joe says:

    The 555 is not a function generator.

    1. Collin Cunningham says:

      Very true … but the 566 is ;)

  6. The right way to "Decap" and Discover ICs | Make: | IMAGICLAY.COM says:

    […] in 2009, on Collin’s Lab, Collin took a stab at decapping by the extra frequent brute power technique of torching the […]

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