This paper presents a comparative study of backside sample preparation techniques with applicability to conventional as well as flip chip package types. We will cover mechanical (grinding and milling tools), chemical (wet and dry chemistries) and other approaches such as laser ablation. Backside sample preparation is very challenging. The preparation process flow starts with decapsulation of the ceramic or plastic package, continues with the die paddle removal, silicon thinning and finishes with silicon polishing. The techniques involved include mechanical, chemical and other novel approaches for ceramic and plastic package. Today, only CNC milling can cover the whole process for almost any kind of packages. Nevertheless, photo ablation is a rising technology for package decapsulation. In addition, chemical wet etch can be used to perform silicon thinning and polishing. We will illustrate the complexity of the process through examples. The first one is a ceramic package where the main issue is the hardness of ceramic. The second one is a TSOP package where the main challenge is the chip scaled package. Both will be observed through the IR emission microscope to demonstrate the efficiency of the preparation.

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