Browse Prior Art Database

Reworkable Epoxy Potting Compound

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109098D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-23
Document File: 1 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Buchwalter, SL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Superior scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs often require the sample to be suspended in a rigid medium to allow polishing of the sample. This is especially true when cross sections of delicate, soft or ductile samples are desired. Conventional potting materials are often composed of epoxies, as they are thermosetting plastics that set up quickly and produce a very rigid transparent medium that can be ground and polished to expose the desired portion of the sample. A drawback of epoxy potting materials is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to recover the sample after it has been fixed in the epoxy. Recovery of the sample might be of value so that additional analytical tests or processing steps could be performed on the sample.

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Reworkable Epoxy Potting Compound

       Superior scanning electron microscope (SEM) micrographs
often require the sample to be suspended in a rigid medium to allow
polishing of the sample.  This is especially true when cross sections
of delicate, soft or ductile samples are desired.  Conventional
potting materials are often composed of epoxies, as they are
thermosetting plastics that set up quickly and produce a very rigid
transparent medium that can be ground and polished to expose the
desired portion of  the sample.  A drawback of epoxy potting
materials is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to recover the
sample after it has been fixed in the epoxy.  Recovery of the sample
might be of value so that additional analytical tests or processing
steps could be performed on the sample.  This article discloses the
use of a class of epoxy formulations specifically designed to break
down and become soluble in a specific solvent.  These epoxies form
clear, rigid matrixes that can be ground and polished similarly to
conventional potting materials.

      For example, the reworkable epoxy was cured and polished to an
optically clear, mirror-like surface by conventional polishing
techniques.  The material was easily dissolved by immersion in hot
solvent for a few minutes.