Optical Microscopy (OM)

Optical microscopy refers to the use of an equipment to inspection a device at higher magnification.  Optical Microscopes are typically classified as Low power or high power microscopes.   Low power microscopes usually magnify the sample from 7X up to 100X.  High power microscopes usually magnify the sample from 70X up to 1000X.   There are commonly three main modes of optical microscope inspections:


Brightfield Microscopy : This is the most common form of imaging a sample and is generally used with compound microscopes.  This imaging provides the most uniform illumination of the specimen.

Darkfield Microscopy : This is an optimum microscopy technique for making specimen appear bright against a dark background. This imaging method is effective in detecting surface scratches and contamination.

Nomarski or Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) Microscopy : is used to image, living or stained samples, which contain little or no optical contrast when viewed using a brightfield microscope. This microscope can clearly observe difficult surface defects or features such as etch pits and cracks that can not observed under a brightfield microscope.

IC Failure Analysis Lab uses all three different microscopes to perform inspection and analysis of your specimens.