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One Ion Can Ruin Everything
This article is based on an original publication by Berkshire.
They can be the destruction of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment within seconds. Ions, the bane of the electronics industry, can be as small as 0.0001 µm (sodium ion) in size – approximately one thousandth the size of the smallest detectable particles — invisible to the naked eye and to the most advanced scanning electron microscope.
In the microelectronics industry, ionic contaminants usually include flux residues or harmful materials picked up or left behind during the process. Generally, they are water-soluble organic or inorganic acids or salts and contain molecules or atoms that are conductive when in solution which can disassociate into either positively or negatively charged species and increase the overall conductivity of the solution.