A publication of the National Electronics Manufacturing Center of Excellence
October 2008

ISO 9001-2008
American Competitiveness
One International Plaza
Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19113
(610) 362-1200
FAX: (610) 362-1290
HELPLINE: (610) 362-1320
WEBSITE: www.empf.org

The EMPF is a U.S. Navy-sponsored National
Electronics Manufacturing Center of Excellence focused on the development, application, and transfer of new electronics manufacturing technology by partnering with industry, academia, and government centers and laboratories in the U.S

Michael D. Frederickson
EMPF Director

Barry Thaler, PhD., bthaler@aciusa.org
EMPF Technical Editor;
Technical Editor, Empfasis

Carmine Meola, cmeola@aciusa.org
Factory and Training Services

In This Issue

Ruggedization of COTS Technology


Ask the EMPF Helpline!


Materials and Testing for Thermal Management


Manufacturer’s Corner: Fischerscope X-Ray XDAL


Tech Tips: BGA Placement on Rework Station


Reliability Chip Scale Packaging


Upcoming Training Center Courses


EMTC Online Registration

Industrial Advisory Board
Gerald R. Aschoff, The Boeing Company
Dennis M. Kox, Raytheon
Gregory X. Krieger, BAE Systems
Edward A. Morris, Lockheed Martin
Jack R. Harris, Rockwell Collins
Gary Kirchner, Honeywell
Andrew Paradise, Northrop Grumman
Art Smedberg, ITT Industries, Avionics Division

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When high-energy x-rays or gamma rays strike a sample, an x-ray is emitted called x-ray fluorescence (XRF). These
characteristic x-rays are unique to each element and are widely used for elemental analysis, particularly in the investigation of metals.

The Fischerscope X-Ray XDAL spectrometer allows for a fast, non-destructive, cost-efficient and precise determination of the alloy components of lead, gold or other metals. In most cases, more expensive and destructive methods become unnecessary. Spectrometers, such as the XDAL, are seen more than ever in the electronics manufacturing industry as an indispensible tool used to identify prohibited metals in compliance to the RoHS Directive (the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment). These XRF systems directly provide results of the concentrations for lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and polybrominated diphenyl ethers.

Measurement Method
The primary radiation generated by the x-ray tube is collimated to a desired test spot and strikes the sample to be analyzed, exciting the atoms to emit secondary x-rays. The energy of this radiation is specific to each element providing quantifiable identification between the elements. The semiconductor detector used in the X-Ray XDAL instrument has a significantly better energy resolution than typical proportional counter tubes, allowing for separate and highly accurate determination of the gold and platinum content. A hole mirror located in the path of the primary beam not only allows for a precise selection of the measurement spot using a color video camera, but also allows viewing the area on a PC monitor during the measurement procedure.

With the challenges of lead-free and other industry conditions, the Fischer XRF plays a very important role in the analysis of coating thickness measurement and materials analysis. Not only does it very accurately register the plating thicknesses and elemental makeup of the subject part, it also features a proven reliable x-ray tube using 50kV high voltage. Even elements with a high atomic number can be analyzed successfully. The X-Ray XDAL also features high energy resolution (<200eV) semi-conductor detectors with Peltier cooling. Thus, even elements close to each other in the periodic table, such as platinum and gold, can be distinguished with confidence.

The subject component or boards are placed for analysis on the systems high-precision, programmable XYZ-stage for fully automated measurements. Both small and large-volume parts can be analyzed in its large measurement chamber. Direct viewing of the subject item or measurement location can be seen through a supplied color video microscope.

The Fischer XDAL software supports the analysis of up to 24 different elements and has a user friendly interface. Precious metal coatings can also be quantitatively analyzed, even if the elements occur several times in different coatings. In addition, the individual coating thicknesses can be measured as well.

For more information related to this article, or to schedule a demonstration of the Fischer X-Ray XDAL unit located at the EMPF, contact Ken Friedman, 610-362-1200 extension 279 or via email at kfriedman@aciusa.org.

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