In situ decapsulation of plastic devices can be used to avoid the removal or alteration of failure mechanisms caused by exposure to desoldering temperatures. This paper describes techniques to decapsulate devices mounted to a printed circuit board using materials that are readily available and easily customized to specific applications. The techniques are extended to the decapsulation of other packaging technologies, such as SBGA packages and chip-onboard assemblies. Finally, post decapsulation cleaning techniques that will not harm the printed circuit board material are presented.

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