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For questions/comments send e-mail to JohnDMcMaster <at>

Wish list:

Item Needed/suggested (USD) Why Notes
Sponsor a chip image! 20-200 Moar data! Non-commercial only, you provide IC. Usually top metal as delayering requires some to a lot more work
Keep the lights on 75/year Prevent canceling website when I need beer money Free hosting offers are appreciated but will be politely turned down
Zerene stacker basic 89 Focus stacking for better images Sorry panotools but it wins no-contest
Colloidial silica 100 Better polishing Old batch is old/dirty and getting low on it
Real SSL cert 200/year Makes your browser happy Tried StartSSL but they didn't get back to me
SEM filaments 200/box Required for SEM imaging Support your or another project
Second (quality) CNC microscope operational 500 Increased throughput See below
Mitutoyo Plan Apo 50x objective 800? Better images, relieves imaging constraints Assuming one pops up on eBay. Olympus 50x ULWD clearance issues
Confocal microscope 2,000 Much easier automated polygon capture Typical industrial auction price
Better lapping machine 2,000 Faster/better/safer delayering Used price
Gold sponsor 1000 Because you love me? Selfish advertising? Get your company logo on the site?

The server isn't free, the equipment isn't, and my time is limited. I enjoy sharing information but its encouraging to know people appreciate it. If you donate I'll be more than happy to help you out by working on an article of your choice or imaging something of your choice.

If you have some interesting chips I'd probably take them to image as well. Be warned though I have quite a stockpile (ie backlog) of chips already but I'd like to help others out to spread interest. Be warned that I'm less likely to help you gratis if you have commercial interests

Sponsoring a chip

Consumables used for typical decap + top metal image:

  • Dremel wheel
  • Acid (typically H2SO4 or WFNA)
  • Solder paste
  • Filtered canned air
  • Acetone
  • IPA
  • Deionized water
  • Paper towels
  • Gloves
  • Electricty
  • Stuff ocassionally breaks! (eg glassware)

Time invested into every chip:

  • Trim package
  • Remove paddle
  • Remoe epoxy
  • Remove bond wires
  • Clean
  • Level for imaging
  • Image
  • Find image features
  • Optimize image alignment
  • Stitch images
  • Upload images

None of these are bad by itself but add up. The equipment also ain't cheap and would love it if someone could help me offset the costs. Also it adds up to a few hours per chip to go from epoxy package to stitched image

Delayering ranges from dangerous to very time consuming. HF will work decently for most single metal chips but is a little dangerous to work with even at low concentrations. Also at least a couple of hours work for good results. Lapping generally produces good results but is very time consuming, say 8+ hours of work.

SEM imaging will most likely require a fee since there are so many consumables involved

Second microscope

Would not have all the accessories like the current one has or use Apo objectives but would be pretty darn close if I got wishlist below


  • Heavy duty motorized XY stage w/ rotary encoders + glass linear encoders
  • Motor controllers
  • Spare high quality microscope base for XY stage
  • BH2-BHMJ column
  • Most of a BH2-UMA illuminator
  • Unused NeoSPlan objectives
  • Extra STM32 to turn into indexer
  • Microscope cameras but would require writing more Linux drivers
  • Laptop
  • Lamphouse power supply
  • Leveling mechanism: use that large newport one


  • BH2-UMA missing BH2-UCLW (~$100) + BH2-LH50A (~$200)
    • A lower quality illuminator would discourage its use
  • MU800 camera ($210)
  • A table in the garage ($50? free on craigslist?)
  • Machine BHMJ-XY stage base adapter piece ($50)
  • Misc pieces like cables, breakout boards, etc ($50)
donate.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/13 02:39 by mcmaster
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