2908E MAGS Roarbotix: Exploring Integrated Circuits
Entry ID #: 8418
Created: Sat, Dec 5, 2020 2:50 AM
These days, integrated circuits (ICs) are often dismissed as nothing more than a magic black box. However, the inner workings of these "chips" are a fascinating and under-appreciated part of electronics. Therefore, our team, from Auckland, New Zealand, chose to disassemble (‘decap’) a Texas Instruments SN7404 hex NOT gate to better understand how it worked.
To remove the plastic casing and reveal the silicon die inside, we used sulfuric acid heated to 90˚C (194˚ F). This slowly dissolved it, leaving the die which was inspected under a microscope. We learned a great deal about how ICs work, and their connection to "normal" discrete electronic components and software.