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The Art of Failure 2012

Failure analysts show off the strange stuff they find in their microscopes

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Samuel K. Moore is IEEE Spectrum’s semiconductor editor.

Photo: Lim Saw Sing/Infineon Technologies
People on the Beach: That’s what Lim Saw Sing saw in this scanning electron microscope image. Lim, who works at Infineon Technologies’ facility in Kulim, Malaysia, exposed a polyimide surface to etching by reactive ions. The resulting image won first prize at the 2012 IEEE International Symposium on the Physical and Failure Analysis of Integrated Circuits (IPFA 2012).
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