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Transmission X-ray Inspection (2D X-ray)
2D X-ray inspection enables imaging the exterior and interior features of complex parts, assemblies, and devices. It is widely used for quality control on both blank and populated printed circuit boards (PCBs).
- Well known technique
- Provides images of sample interior
- Contrast issues if sample is a mix of heavy and light elements
- Image sees everything in the path (no depth discrimination)
X-ray radiograph of a wire bonded component still in the package. Lead frame, bond wires, and die all clearly visible.
X-ray radiograph of an unbonded BGA board (left) and angled view of a wire bonded device and BGA soldered on opposite sides of a PCB (right). Cu traces, vias, solder balls, and solder voids clearly visible.
X-ray inspection systems are projection microscopes that use x-rays as opposed to visible light.
Typically, a monochromatic x-ray tube is used to generate high energy x-rays which have the ability to transmit through most materials. Heavier and thicker materials will have lower x-ray transmission and therefore will appear as darker regions in the final x-ray projection. Modern x-ray tools use large array multi-pixel detectors to generate these images in real time.
Imaging the top component, pcb and bottom components is a well-known way to look for problems in component placement, solder joints and trace alignment. The same technology can be used to image the interior of parts for checking everything from porosity to interior critical dimensions.
The use of digital detectors and sophisticated analysis software has significantly enhanced the useability of modern x-ray imaging systems.
X-ray computed tomography (often referred to as Micro-CT due to its spatial resolution) is a non-contact, nondestructive 2D...