Based on the requirements regarding target, reproducibility, and specimen surface quality, an automatic system for controlled material removal and target preparation has been developed. The tool is for metallographic failure analysis of electric and microelectronic components, and provides an accuracy of 5 micrometer. This article presents details of sample preparation and device evaluation methods. The images presented show typical objects of examination in the analysis of microstructures and materials in the electronics packaging industry with brief comments. For automatically controlled material removal and preparation, the tool offers alignment and measuring of the sample prior to the preparation. The desired preparation layers were achieved precisely and reproducibly with several specimens of the same kind. The automatic preparation system allowed the preparation of critical samples within a short time, with high precision and with excellent reproducibility.

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