Microchips – are indeed can be considered a black box – as long as it’s working you normally don’t look inside.
But what if you want to?
Today we’ll show how to “open” chips and what’s inside.
Take some microchips of interest and add concentrated sulfuric acid. Container should be closed, but not airtight, so that fumes can escape (that is extremely important). Heat it to boiling temperature (300 °C). White substance at the bottom is baking soda – it’s here to neutralize accidental spills and part of fumes.
After 30-40 minutes, acid “burns” plastic to carbon:
After it cools down, we can sort what is ready for next step and what needs another acid bath (thick, bulky packages usually need 2-3 rounds):
If pieces of carbon stuck to the microchip itself and cannot be removed mechanically, one can remove them in hot concentrated nitric acid (temperature is much lower, ~110-120 °C):