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Failure Analysis Testing for Electronics


Electronic devices are basically arrays of transistors, resistors, capacitors, and semiconductor devices arranged on printed circuit boards (PCBs) that drive computers, cell phones, keyboards, cameras, televisions, radios, and the unending multitude of software programs that enable so many people to be so productive.
Modern printed circuit boards are the most complex devices imaginable. Today’s PCBs consist of multilayer boards arrayed with ever-smaller devices connected in novel ways to reduce size and weight. They combine through-hole and surface mount processes involving thousands of components that require precision to less than a millimeter, and often down to micron levels.
For electronic devices, NSL provides failure analysis. Discovering the cause of failure includes measuring plating thickness, checking for cracks in the plating, analyzing vias (vertical interconnect access), analyzing solder joints, and searching for other defects. 
However, we also provide quality control. For example, we characterize the materials that enclose devices. Coatings on smart phones must be lightweight, yet tough enough to function after being dropped on concrete or subjected to hot coffee. The glass on such devices must be hard and tough, as well as able to transmit the heat from a human finger, and the coatings on the glass must be scratch resistant. Some cell phone cases are made of amorphous metal, an advanced lightweight material with high strength and toughness.
For these devices, we analyze the materials for correct chemistry, and subject them to several mechanical and physical tests: abrasion and scratch resistance, tensile strength, chemical resistance, heat resistance, and impact strength.