Failure Analysis Services

Kokomo Electronic Assembly offers a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art analytical capabilities:

ESCA Electron Spectroscopy for Chemical Analysis details elemental and chemical bonding information of a sample surface. Useful for studying organics, polymers, oxides and dielectrics, ESCA emits X-ray radiation that the sample absorbs. In turn, the sample emits photoelectrons. By interpreting the binding energies of these photoelectrons, ESCA can identify the sample atomic composition and chemical state.
FTIR Typically used to quantitatively analyze foreign substances, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy allows one to identify the molecular structure of a sample. When absorbing infrared radiation, chemical bonds will vibrate at a characteristic frequency and intensity—properties that define a unique, molecular footprint. Primarily used to identify organic compounds, FTIR can also identify inorganic compounds.
IEC Ion Exchange Chromatography can identify and quantify ionic residues from a particular process (e.g., soldering). A sample of the specimen is eluted in a solvent mix and separated using ion exchange. The separation allows the identification of the ion as well as the quantity of that ion present, usually measured in micrograms per square centimeter.
GC/MS Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry utilizes the analytical abilities of a gas chromatograph and a mass spectrometer to identify a chemical in a complex mixture. The combination of both methods greatly decreases the probability of false identification. GC/MS separates, electrically charges, and accelerates a sample’s ions through an electric field. As a result, GC/MS identifies ions by their mass spectrum. Medical, environmental, and law enforcement agencies have extensively used GC/MS to identify drugs in blood, pollutants in drinking water, and impurities in pharmaceuticals.
LCMS Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry utilizes the analytical abilities of a liquid chromatograph and a mass spectrometer to identify a chemical in a complex mixture. Similar to GC/MS, LC/MS plots a mass-spectral graph of ions accelerating through an electric field.
DSC Differential Scanning Calorimetry is a measurement technique that compares enthalpic capacities between a sample and reference chemical. DSC typically heats both materials to the same temperature, and monitors what is required to maintain equal temperatures over a period of time. Capable of detecting a variety of chemical reactions, DSC has become a valuable tool to define phase diagrams for various chemicals.
TGA Thermal Gravimetric Analysis analyzes changes in a materials weight as the material’s temperature changes under controlled atmospheric conditions. TGA can measure moisture content and organic/inorganic composition while analyzing a variety of chemicals, including polymers, plastics, adhesives, food, coatings, pharmaceuticals, organic materials, rubber, and petroleum.
SEM Scanning Electron Microscopy provides high-resolution surface images by raster scanning a sample with high-energy electrons. As one of the most commonly used analytical techniques, SEM can analyze surface topography and composition. At low energy, SEM can identify organic residues in very small quantities. In addition, SEM can also identify inorganic compounds.
C-mode SAM C-mode Scanning Acoustic Microscope is a non-destructive method that can identify sample defects such as voids, delamination, and cracks. Exposing samples to ultrasonic waves, C-mode SAM can produce high-resolution images of ceramics, polymers, metals, and other composites.
Cross- sectioning Cross-sectioning allows one to analyze material grain structure, origin of shorts or opens, and fatigue defects.
Thermal cycle Thermal Cycling allows one to test and predict the reliability effects of extreme temperature swings. Products typically experience up to 1000 hours of alternating dwells at low and high temperatures, while engineers monitor its affect on product electrical performance.
Thermal Shock Like thermal cycling, Thermal Shock allows one to test and predict reliability effects. Exposing products to near-instaneous, air-to-air temperature changes, Kokomo Electronic Assembly typically tests up to at least two hundred and fifty temperature cycles.


The following FTIR analysis compares bare-die FET surface contamination wavenumbers to other, known materials.


SEM helped confirm the following pb-free solder bump alloy.

Element Weight% Atomic%
Cu K 3.61 6.52
Ag L 2.23 2.38
Sn L 94.16 91.10
Totals 100.00 100.00

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