FA Products

ESD Dual Acid Decapsulation System

ESD Dual Acid Decapsulation for Copper ICs

Elite Etch Cu ESD

Domestic (US) and International Patents Pending

Elite Etch - Cu ESD is an Automated Mixed Acid Decapsulator, with advanced feature integration to enable high productivity. This Decapsulator easily and rapidly opens even the most delicate packages by delivering precise, micro-aliquots of nitric, sulfuric, or acid mixes to the package with no sample damage.

The delivery of each micro-aliquot is done with sufficient pressure to create extreme turbulence in the etched cavity that greatly accelerates the rate of encapsulant removal. Very low, precise acid temperatures, combined with high micro-aliquot delivery rates allow for the decapsulation of copper wired devices with no wire or metallization damage. An exclusive acid delivery function can be selected that delivers the highest pulse rate possible while consuming less than maximum acid volume. The specially designed acide heat exchanger can accurately control acid temperature down to 10°C and up to 250°C, with flow rates to 8ml per minute using pulse mode. Such high acid pulse rates achieve reasonable etch times even at the lowest temperatures.

The Elite Etch operates at temperatures up to 250°C enabling operation versatility with any combination of acids.

The monolithic etch head is machined from premium grade silicon carbide for unsurpassed acid resistance. The etch head is designed to reduce the fuming of any residual acids left on the etch head at the end of the process.

The device hold down assembly (ram nose) is pneumatically activated and is designed for a large amount of vertical travel. The ram nose is normally retracted and only extends after the safety cover is fully closed.

The vertical movement of the ram nose secures the device to the etch head thus eliminating movement of either the package or its fixturing.

Copper Band Wires

Copper Band Wires

RKD Engineering is the only company to incorporate true double containment for all fluid couplings between the bottle container and the decapsulator. Interconnects run inside Teflon containment tubing that can be fed from either side of the Bottle Box.

Elite Etch Cu ESD Dual Acid Decapsulator
-is designed to incorporate critical ESD protection circuitry, thereby eliminating the potential for incremental ESD damage to fragile packages during decapsulation.

Acid Decapsulators are designed to pump volumes of concentrated or fuming acids onto a plastic IC located on an etch head assembly. Decapsulator designs typically involve the transport of the acids to this etch head assembly via Teflon tubing. ESD hazards associated with Teflon can be eliminated by the use of electrically dissipative Teflon. In traditional, non-conductive Teflon a charge will build up on the inner surface of the tubing and any residual electrical charge that may be present as a result of acid transport cannot be neutralized. If the charge exceeds the dielectric strength of the Teflon, dielectric breakdown occurs.

As the acid exits the Teflon tubing and enters the etch head any residual charge will start to be eliminated into the mass of silicon carbide etch head assembly. This dissipation is further enhanced by the use of electrically dissipative Teflon that is used in the Etch Plate assembly of the decapsulator. Appropriate ESD protection circuitry interconnects all of these dissipative components.

The Elite Etch Cu - ESD also is equipped with a conductive Ram Nose connected to a high impedance resistor network to further aid in ESD mitigation during decapsulation. Of particular concern is the plastic encapsulated IC itself. The use of an electrically isolated, yet dissipative Ram Nose Assembly, combined with electrically functional Teflon and Silicon Carbide etch head ensures that the process of decapsulation, of jetting heated acids onto a semiconductor device under considerable pressure, never results in ESD problems within the part from the decapsulator, rinsing, drying, etc. The Elite Etch Cu - ESD system is equipped with two ESD panel mounted sockets and circuitry for the attachment of ESD tweezers and Wrist Strap. The unit will not operate without appropriate operator grounding via the integrated wrist strap connection.


Dimensions Decapsulator 7.5 x 12.5 x 12 inch (190 x 318 x 305 mm)
Bottle Assembly 10 x 5 x 11 inch (254 x 127 x 279 mm)
Weight approx. 35 lbs. (16 Kg)
Power Source 90 - 130 or 230 - 250 VAC ~ 49 to 61 Hz
Acid temp. range 10°C to 250°C. Independent of ambient room temperature
Acid temp. set point 1.0°C±1% of setting. Independent of ambient tembperature
Etch cavity (up to) 21 mm x 21 mm (30 mm max. diagonal)
Choice of Acids fuming nitric acids, mixed fuming nitric and sulfuric acids, or fuming/concentrated sulfuric acid
Acid Mix Ratios (nitric to sulfuric ratios) 9:1, 6:1, 5:1, 4:1, 7:2, 3:1, 5:2, 2:1, 3:2, 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, 1:5
Post Etch Rinse Options sulfuric acids, fuming nitric acids, mixed acids, or no rinse
Etch Times 1 to 2,400 seconds in 1 sec. increments (1 sec. to 40 minutes) dynamic (real time) adjustments of etch time
Etch Modalities Pulse Etch, Reciprocal Etch Acid Pulse (REAP)

Note: REAP is a superior approach to maximizing the carrying capacity for the etch acid(s) within the package volume.
It allows enhanced etch characteristics when nitric acid or mixed acids are slected (up to 4ml per minute optimum)

Temperature Ranges 20°C - 90°C (nitiric acid) 20°C - 250°C (sulfuric acid); 10°C - 100°C (mixed acids)
Etchant Volume Selection 2 to 6 ml. per minute - for all acids & acid mixes at a temperature above 100°C
2 to 8 ml. per minute for nitric acid or mixed acids below 100°C
Operator Program Storage 100 programs stored to nonvolatile memory
Ambient Temperature Range 15°C to 26°C
Ambient Humidity 0 to 70% non-condensing

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