As device packages become smaller, the job of failure analysts becomes more difficult. Other complex configurations such as Small Outline Packages (SOP) pose unique problems. The difficulty of removing the encapsulant while preserving the integrity of the die, bond pads, bond wires and lead frame interconnects on a small outline package pose a serious problem. A new sample preparation technique is offered in order to expose the front side and backside of the die. This technique dramatically reduced the risk of damage and ensures the functionality of the device after decapsulation.