Spirit Electronics offers Fourier Transform InfraRed spectroscopy, or FTIR services when performing root cause analysis on the failure of an electronic component.

What is Fourier Transform Infrared?

Fourier Transform Infrared analysis, also commonly referred to as FTIR Spectroscopy,  is a complex piece of scientific equipment used in our electronics failure analysis lab to scan material samples and observe chemical properties.  We use the FTIR scanning microscope to determine the chemical composition of organic materials, such as oils, fluxes, polymers, and in some cases inorganic materials.

How Does FITR Services for Electronic Failure Analysis Work?

The FTIR scanning microscope sends infrared radiation of about 10,000 to 100 cm-1 through an electronic component or material upon which the engineers in our microelectronics failure analysis lab are performing root cause analysis of failure.  Some of the radiation is absorbed and some pass through.

The radiation which is absorbed is converted into vibrational and/or rotational energy by the sample molecules. A signal is detected and represented as an IR spectrum, effectively providing a “fingerprint” of the material as the IR light is either absorbed or reflected.

The name Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy is derived from the mathematical process known as a Fourier transform which is used to convert the raw data into the spectrum.

How Does Our Electronics Failure Analysis Lab Use the Fourier Transform Infrared?

FTIR spectroscopy is a well-established analytical technique used in our electronics failure analysis lab when evaluating manufactured electronics material. Our failure analysis engineers often use FTIR spectroscopy as the first step in the electronics failure analysis process.

The IR spectrum fingerprint can then be run against a database of over 50,000 organic materials, much like facial recognition programs seen on many law enforcement television shows. Samples can be as small as 10×10 square microns (a micron is a millionth of a meter, about a tenth the diameter of a hair).

So FTIR services are essentially a method of measuring infrared absorption and emission. We use FTIR spectroscopy in our electronics failure analysis lab to:

  • Recognize and define unknown materials
  • Find and identify contamination on or in a material
  • Perform failure analysis investigations to isolate oxidation, decomposition, and other causes of failing electronic components.

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