Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is a characterization technique used to analyze different kinds of samples like membranes, filters, coins or even biological samples like plant leaf, ants, etc. This equipment uses electron beams to capture an image for observation of surface morphology, topography, cracks, failures, and any kind of microscopic observation from microns to the nanoscale level.
Energy Dispersive X-ray Nanoanalysis (EDX)
Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy is a characterization technique that can be used to find the chemical composition of materials down to a spot size of a few microns, and to create element composition maps over a much broader raster area. Together, these capabilities provide fundamental compositional information for a wide variety of materials.
Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
Atomic force microscopy is a characterization technique that has a resolution that you can measure in fractions of a nanometer. One of the most important tools for imaging on the nanometer scale. The AFM has the advantage of imaging almost any type of surface, including polymers, ceramics, composites, glass, and biological samples.
Optical Beam Induced Resistance Change Analysis (OBIRCH) is a very powerful fault localization technique for your Integrated Circuit. In semiconductor Failure Analysis OBIRCH is commonly used to localize metal shorts, active area short, shorts in source or drain wells, gate oxide pin holes and poly
Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF)
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a characterization technique that check emission of characteristic “secondary” (or fluorescent) X-rays from a material that has been excited by being bombarded with high-energy X-rays or gamma rays. The relative ease and low cost of sample preparation, and the stability and ease of use of x-ray spectrometers make this one of the most widely used methods for analysis of major and trace elements in rocks, minerals, and sediment.
Electron Backscatter Diffraction Analysis (EBSD)
Electron Backscatter Diffraction Analysis (EBSD) is a characterization technique used to determine the crystalline structure and crystallographic orientation of a material. It produces a result called Kikuchi Patterns or Electron Backscatter Patterns (EBSP) to see the structure of it. This technique provides quantitative microstructural information about the crystallographic nature of metals, minerals, semiconductors, and ceramics. It reveals grain, size, grain boundary character, grain orientation, texture, and phase identity of the sample under the beam.
Video Measuring Machine (VMM)
This tool will automatically measure dimensions using a fixed precision optic lens, great for measuring small parts with fine features. It has different objective lenses that would depend on the needed magnification and field of view to best suit the sample measurement.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
Differential scanning calorimetry is a thermoanalytical technique in which the difference in the amount of heat required to increase the temperature of a sample and reference is measured as a function of
temperature. Both the sample and reference are maintained at nearly the same temperature throughout the experiment. Generally, the temperature program for a DSC analysis is designed such that the sample holder temperature increases linearly as a function of time. The reference sample
should have a well-defined heat capacity over the range of temperatures to be scanned.
Thermo Gravimetric Analysis (TGA)
Thermogravimetric analysis or thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) is a method of thermal analysis in
which the mass of a sample is measured over time as the temperature changes. This measurement provides information about physical phenomena, such as phase transitions, absorption, adsorption, and desorption; as well as chemical phenomena including chemisorptions, thermal decomposition, and solid-gas reactions (e.g., oxidation or reduction). A thermogravimetric analyzer continuously measures
mass while the temperature of a sample is changed over time. Mass, temperature, and time are considered base measurements in thermogravimetric analysis while many additional measures may be
derived from these three base measurements.
Thermal Emission Microscopy
Thermal Emission Microscopy is a semiconductor failure analysis technique that pinpoints failures by detecting thermal emissions generated within the semiconductor device. The increasing trend toward hyperfine patterns and lower supply voltages in semiconductor devices makes the infrared rays emitted by heat generated from semiconductor failure points fainter and more difficult to detect.
Mechanical Cross Section
Mechanical Cross Section is a part of failure analysis to examine the structure of a sample orthogonal to the surface. Methods would be using a diamond wheel or grinding with abrasive paper. After Mechanical Cross Sectioning, the sample could undergo different analytical techniques such as Scanning
Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray.
Grinding and Polishing
Topside electronic de-processing – enabled by the advanced angular control and optical
Backside preparation of packages and wafers, particularly for flip-chips – and rapid global
thinning of larger surfaces.
Cross-sectioning of die and package-level devices.
Hybrid Ion Milling (Cross Section & Flat Milling)
Ion milling is the process of removing the top amorphous layer on a material to reveal the pristine sample surface for high-resolution imaging and post-processing. It is essential in many cases such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Electron Back Scattered Diffraction (EBSD) studies.
Non-Conductive samples often have a charging effect from electrons building up on the surface causing issues with collecting a good image. This Ion Sputtering coating allows imaging at higher beam energies to obtain the highest resolution and magnification without concern of electron charge effects or beam
damage to sensitive samples.
Water and Environmental
Heavy Metal Analysis
Atomic Absorption Spectrometer is an analytical instrument used in quantitative determination of chemical elements using the absorption of optical radiation (light)
by free atoms in the gaseous state. This is used for elemental analysis of Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Barium, Cadmium, Lead, Nickel, Selenium, Arsenic,
ICP-OES is an analytical instrument used for the detection of chemical elements by emission spectroscopy that uses the inductively coupled plasma to produce excited
atoms and ions that emit electromagnetic radiation at wavelengths characteristic of a particular element. This is used for simultaneous elemental analysis of Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Barium, Cadmium, Lead, Nickel, Selenium, Arsenic, etc.
Particle Size Analysis
PSA is an analytical instrument used to measure the distribution of sizes in a sample of solid or liquid particulate material. The particle analyzer operates on the basis of static laser light scattering. It can be used for dry and wet measurements with
measurement range of 0.01 µm – 5000 µm.
pH is a measure of how acidic or basic water is. Its technical and scientific definition is that it is a measure of the activity of the hydrogen ion (H + ). The pH of water is a very important measurement parameter concerning water quality. It affects aquatic life wherein some creatures can only live at a usual pH range. It can also affect the solubility and toxicity of chemicals and heavy metals in the water. pH can be measured using a potentiometric
instrument such as pH meter.
Temperature is a key parameter in checking water quality. It affects the dissolved oxygen
levels in water, the rate of photosynthesis, as well as metabolic rates of organisms. Each species of organism thrives in a specific temperature range. Some organisms use temperature as an indicator for reproduction and migration. Abnormality in water temperature can disrupt the balance of aquatic ecosystems with devastating effect.
The presence of dissolved natural organic material, usually from aquatic humic matter, causes water to have color. Certain industries rely to the aesthetic appearance of water suitable for their industrial applications. Color may also affect photosynthetic processes of some underwater plants and algae which may interfere sunlight to pass through. The standard method for color of water is the platinum-cobalt method.
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)
Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) is a measurement of the oxygen required to oxidize
soluble and particulate organic matter in water. It is an important water quality parameter that provides an index to assess the effects of discharged wastewater on the receiving environment. Higher COD levels mean a greater amount of oxidizable organic material in the sample, which will reduce dissolved oxygen levels. Thus, it will be harmful to aquatic life. COD can be determined by various method such as closed reflux digestion, by titrimetric method.
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) is a measurement of the amount of dissolved oxygen (DO) that is used by aerobic microorganisms when decomposing organic matter in water. Like COD, it is an important water quality parameter because it provides an index to assess the effect discharged wastewater will have on the receiving environment. The higher the BOD value, the greater the amount of organic matter for oxygen consuming bacteria, and thus higher rate of dissolved oxygen consumption. Depletion of DO causes stress on aquatic organisms, making the environment unsuitable for life. BOD is also used extensively for wastewater treatment and is a common gauge to determine the design of the water treatment facility. The most common technique used for the determination of BOD, is the 5-day incubation BOD test and azide modification method.
Ammonia is a colorless, pungent gaseous compound, extremely soluble in water. It is a biologically active compound found in most waters as a normal biological degradation product of nitrogenous organic matter. It also may find its way to ground and surface waters through discharge of industrial process wastes containing ammonia and fertilizers. Ammonia can cause toxicity to aquatic animals and high levels of it can potentially kill aquatic organisms. Various methods can be used for the determination of ammonia in water, but the most common and cheapest among of it is the ammonia-selective electrode
Nitrates are a form of naturally occurring nitrogen compounds found in several different forms in aquatic ecosystems. Nitrates are essential plant nutrients but can cause significant water quality problems in excess amount. It can accelerate eutrophication, causing dramatic increases in aquatic plant growth and thus, affects dissolved oxygen, temperature, and other indicators. Nitrate can be measured by nitrate-selective electrode
Phosphorus occurs in natural water and wastewater almost solely as phosphates. It is a common constituent of agricultural fertilizers, manure, and organic wastes in sewage and industrial effluent. It is an essential element for the growth of plants and animals and in lake ecosystems. But excessive amount of phosphorus in water can lead to eutrophication
resulting in reduced stability of the ecosystem. Phosphorus concentrations can be measured by colorimetric determination by stannous chloride method or ascorbic acid reduction method.
Chlorides are salts resulting from the combination of the gas chlorine with a metal.
Chlorine alone as Cl 2 is highly toxic and it is often used as a disinfectant. In combination with a metal such as sodium it becomes essential for life. Small amounts of chlorides are
required for normal cell functions in plant and animal life. But excessive amounts of chlorides can also be harmful, such that it can corrode metals and affect the taste of food
products. It can also contaminate freshwater streams and lakes. Some aquatic animals cannot survive in high levels of chlorides. By using chloride-selective electrode meters, concentrations of chlorides can already be measured accurately.
Comes from the word surface active agent. They are amphiphilic molecules and are thus absorbed in the air-water interface. At the interface, they align themselves so that the hydrophobic part is in the air and hydrophilic part is in water. This will cause the decrease in surface or interfacial tensions.
Fluorine is a natural trace element and exists in almost all soils. Fluoride is classified as any binary compound of fluorine with another element. Perhaps the most widely known use of fluoride is its addition to public drinking water supplies at about one milligram per
liter (mg/L) of a fluoride salt, measured as fluoride, for the purpose of reducing tooth decay.
Oil and Grease
Oil and grease is defined as any material recovered as a substance soluble in extracting solvent. It can be composed of fatty matter from animal and vegetable sources and from hydrocarbons of petroleum origin. Oil and grease in water can cause surface films and shoreline deposits leading to environmental degradation, and can induce human health risks when discharged in surface or ground waters. Presence of excessive amounts may
interfere with aerobic and anaerobic biological processes and lead to decreased wastewater treatment efficiency. Liquid-liquid partition by solvent extraction is the most widely used method for the determination of oil and grease.
Cyanide is a carbon-nitrogen chemical unit which combines with many organic and inorganic compounds. It is an extremely toxic substance that is produced naturally and artificially. Cyanides are generally not persistent when released to water or soil, and are not likely to accumulate in aquatic life. But high levels of cyanides can cause rapid toxicity
among aquatic life. One of the easiest and cheapest method available for the
determination of cyanide concentration is the cyanide-selective electrode method.
Dissolved Oxygen (DO) refers to the level of free, non-compound oxygen present in water or other liquids. Oxygen is perhaps the most well-established indicator of water quality. It is an important parameter in assessing water quality because of its influence on the organisms living within a body of water. A dissolved oxygen level that is too high or too low can harm aquatic life and affect water quality. DO can be measured through classical method of azide modification or by membrane-electrode DO meters.
Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
Total suspended solids (TSS) are particles that are larger than 2 microns found in the water column. Most suspended solids are made up of inorganic materials, although bacteria and algae can also contribute to the total solids concentration. TSS is also a significant factor in observing the aesthetics of the water, as the more suspended solids
that are present the less clear the water will become. Excessive suspended solids can because for concern for aquatic and human life as well as impede navigation and increase flooding risks. TSS can be measured through gravimetric determination.
Bacteriological Test Parameters
Total Coliform & Fecal Coliform
Total coliform bacteria are commonly found in the environment and are generally harmless while fecal coliform bacteria are a sub-group of total coliform bacteria. The presence of fecal coliform in a drinking water sample often indicates recent fecal contamination, meaning that there is a greater risk that pathogens are present than if only total coliform bacteria is detected. The presence of fecal contamination in aquatic environments is an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals exposed to this water. Multiple tube fermentation technique is often used for the determination of total and fecal coliforms.
Heterotrophic Plate Count
Heterotrophs are a group of microorganisms that use organic carbon sources to grow and can be found in all types of water. Heterotrophic plate count (HPC) is a method that measures colony formation on culture media of heterotrophic bacteria in drinking water. Thus, the HPC test can be used to measure the overall bacteriological quality of drinking water systems. High levels of microbial growth can affect the taste and odor of drinking water. To determine HPC, pour plate method can be used as a method.