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Many defects generate excessive heat during operation; this is due to the power dissipation associated with the excess current flow at the defect site. There are several thermal detection techniques for failure analysis and this article focuses on infrared thermography with lock-in detection, which detects an object's temperature from its infrared emission based on blackbody radiation physics. The basic principles and the interpretation of the results are reviewed. Some typical results and a series of examples illustrating the application of this technique are also shown. Brief sections are devoted to the discussion on liquid-crystal imaging and fluorescent microthermal imaging technique for thermal detection.

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