1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director
  5. Managing Director
Advanced Materials Failure Analysis Laboratory
CMC Laboratories is a premier, materials-focused analytical laboratory. CMC specializes in root cause failure analysis for a global customer base.  CMC collaborates with our customer's quality organization, manufacturing team, or product development to address critical, time-sensitive problems.  
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Solving the problems of today for the technologies of tomorrow.
CMC Laboratories was founded in 2003 by a group of Solid State Physicists, Material Scientists, Mechanical Engineers and Chemists with a long history in material science and advanced electronics IP development.  Since its founding, CMC's focus has been on solving advanced materials related problems through Materials Characterization, Failure Analysis, and Materials Related Consulting.  CMC serves a global customer base, solving the problems of today for the technologies of tomorrow.
  1. Materials Characterization
    Materials Characterization
    Understand the fundamentals of the material system means to better understand the problem.
  2. Process Development
    Process Development
    Building robust manufacturing processes through Materials Characterization and FA.
  3. Failure Analysis
    Failure Analysis
    Materials based root cause failure analysis that is independent and unbiased.
  4. Technology Resources
    Technology Resources
    Developing the technology of tomorrow by advancing the materials of today.
Strategic Partnerships
CMC Laboratories forms close collaborations with a customer base that represent a diversified collection of industry leading corporations. CMC's customers range from start-ups to Fortune 100 Corporations, in technologies that include: LEDs and other optoelectronic devices, medical devices, automotive electronics, as well as military and aerospace applications. CMC forms strong partnerships with engineering teams, corporate labs and development teams in areas that include R&D, Failure Analysis, and Processes Improvement. CMC's highly experienced team provides support in solving critical materials-related problems from initial product development, product qualification through full scale volume manufacturing. CMC works directly with technical personnel at our customer's sites as well as with our customer's vendors and our customer's customers, whatever is needed to get the job done.

Laboratory Services
  1. Ion Milling / Polishing
    Conventional mechanical sample prep techniques on highly stressed systems or very soft materials can introduce artifacts such as smearing, delamination, and/or edge relief that can distort the observations being made in an analysis. CMC Laboratories has the ability to Ion Mill Section or perform an Ion Polish cleanup on a sample. This produces a high quality stress-free cross-section no matter what the material. Ion Polishing can also be used to etch a sample to delineate the grain structure or inter-facial layers in a material or system.
  2. Chemical / Mechanical Decapsulation
    CMC Laboratories has developed proprietary chemical and mechanical techniques for removal of packaging material and de-lidding so that further analysis can be performed. CMC's techniques preserve the underlying structures which is imperative for subsequent analysis or testing.
  3. Reactive Ion Etching (RIE)
    Often the only way to remove certain organics, IDL, nitride, and oxide layers that are highly chemical resistant, while still maintaining the integrity of the IC, wirebonds, or circuitry is through dry etching. At CMC Laboratories we use inductively coupled plasma etching, along with proprietary gas chemistries and etching profiles developed to remove specific layers while preserving surrounding layers of interest.
  4. Real Time X-ray Analysis
    Non-destructive analysis techniques are crucial in identifying defects prior to destructive analysis. CMC Laboratories' Real Time X-ray allows us to identify and isolate failure signatures like: * Solder voiding * PCB trace issues * Wirebond shorts * Internal package structure * Die attach issues
  5. Metallographic Cross-sections
    To get a full understanding of the construction of a sample or the mechanism of its failure, cross-sections are an invaluable tool. At CMC Laboratories we have developed proprietary techniques that produce very high quality cross-sections of complex structures that are precise and defect free. In many cases, CMC's mechanical cross sections can achieve the same level of results as FIB, but over much larger areas. CMC can also combine mechanical sections with ion milling to achieve much the same results as FIB sections.
  6. Precision Sub-Micron Cross-sections
    The ultra-small architecture of modern ICs make producing precision cross-sections that target sub-micron defects extremely difficult. CMC Laboratories has the ability to target such defects with the precision of a FIB but the speed of traditional IC cross-sectioning. Our proprietary techniques have been developed while working with the worlds top companies for IC design and manufacturing. Combining precision mechanical techniques with Ion Mill Polish allows CMC to achieve FIB quality results over a larger cross-sectional area, and in a more cost effective way.
  7. Competitive Analysis
    A key service provided by CMC is construction analysis. This can be a highly useful tool in doing competitive analysis. Utilizing analytical techniques such as SEM cross section preparation and analysis, optical microscopy, EDS and X-ray analysis, CMC can determine how assemblies or components have been fabricated. Using microstructural information to understand fabrication processes is a key element of competitive analysis, and an area where CMC has a strong experience base.
  8. Micro-Hardness Testing
    CMC's micro hardness tester can provide localized hardness data for an individual macro-structure within a larger matrix. CMC has the ability to measure the hardness of ultra thin samples like cross sections, foils, plated layers, fibers, and passivation layers; as well as typical bulk properties of metals, ceramics, plastics, and glasses. Our use of an electromagnetic force motor tester allows a workable load range from .05gf - 2kgf as well as the ability to vary dwell and load rates.
  9. Laser Flash Thermal Conductivity
    Thermal conductivity is one of the most critical parameters in characterizing how a material or component transports heat. At CMC Laboratories we have developed a 30J Laser Flash measurement system that can take precise measurements of thermal diffusivity across a wide range of sample form factors and thicknesses. CMC can evaluate thermal conductivity of monolithic samples, composites and also layered structures. CMC 's laser flash, tied to NIST standards, represents a very rapid yet accurate method for determining thermal conductivities of materials between < 1 W/m-K up to >1000 W/m-K
  10. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
    CMC Laboratories has coupled a state of the art Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) silicon drift detector (SDD) system with our Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) system. EDS analysis provides outstanding elemental identification with detection limits at ~0.1% with an area resolution of 0.5µm. CMC has the ability to produce very detailed compositional data for spots, area scans, line scans, and maps.
  11. SEM Analysis and Imagining
    Scanning Electron Microscopy is the core FA technique for providing images with high depth of field and contrast on the micron or sub-micron length scale. CMC Laboratories' Immersion Lens FE-SEM is capable of 500,000x magnification with 0.5nm resolution and can operate at 500v-30kV. Coupled with our low kV Solid State Backscatter Detector we can produce images with contrast levels great enough to show differences in grain orientation. CMC can even output Ultra 4K quality images.
  12. Mechanical Testing
    A key element in Failure Analysis is often understanding mechanical properties and failure modes. At CMC we have an Instron mechanical tester, and we offer a wide range of Mechanical Testing services including * Tensile/Compression Testing * Fracture Toughness * Peel strength * Three Point Bending * Wirebond Pull Strength These tests can be done on a wide range of materials, including ceramic, polymer and metal systems, as well as composites.
  13. Prototype Plating
    CMC Laboratories has a dedicated in house plating team and plating facility focused on developing solutions for challenging plating processes. CMC couples it's plating development capability with our Analysis Laboratory to develop robust plating solutions for our customers. CMC has developed processing for plating difficult materials like LTCC, Rh, Diamond Aluminum, and more. CMC's plating laboratory has capability for electroless and electrolytic plating, and a wide range of activation processes. In addition to development, CMC also does select precision low volume production.
  14. Image Analysis
    CMC has the ability to quantitatively characterize the structure of a material system by analyzing optical and/or SEM images using specialized software. At CMC we can use image analysis to characterize: * Area percent distribution * Layer thickness and distribution * Grain size distributions * Basic dimensions (radius, angle, length, area, etc) * Apply image filters, gates, and windows * Depth of field focus enhancement
  15. Materials Related Consulting
    CMC Laboratories provides a number of advanced materials related consulting services focussed on electronic packaging and assembly. These services include: technical process audits, working with customer's vendors to address critical process or quality issues, providing customized in-depth tutorials directed to engineering teams, and working with customer's in-house laboratories to determine root-cause of failures. These services can be performed at CMC or at the customer or vendors sites world-wide.
  16. Electrical Testing
    CMC has the ability to perform advanced electrical testing focusing on material characterization. Tests include: * Dielectric breakdown * Insulation resistance (versus temperature) * Electrical conductivity utilizing four-point probe * Capacitance * Dielectric constant DC to MHz * Resistivity Measurements
  17. Special Projects
    CMC Laboratories engages in highly customized projects focussed on specific needs of a customer. These projects typically utilize CMC's material and process expertise in combination with materials characterization. Examples include: * Development of a re-work process for a very sophisticated medical imaging system. Performed re-work at CMC for the customer for very significant cost savings. * Development of a customized mechanical test assembly for a medical probe and performed the testing. * Construction of a highly sensitive adhesion tester for detecting residue on silicone components. Transferred the measurement technique to the customer.
  18. Temperature Cycle Video Imaging
    For complex assemblies, in many cases it is difficult to determine detailed component motion during temperature cycle which ultimately leads to component failure. CMC has developed a methodology which can be used to heat and cool samples from -40°C to +170°C. During temperature cycling, a high resolution video camera images components of interest to observe distortion. This technique is very useful for determining root cause of failure and also for validating finite element models.
  19. Test Automation and Circuit Design
    CMC Laboratories can set up customized electrical characterization and automated testing focused on specific applications. Below are a few examples of * LabView Programming * Electrical custom test fixturing. * Automation instruments using high performance data acquisition hardware. * Embedded Test modules and sensory modules. * Design, prototype, and test products and technologies. CMC also has expertise in custom system level circuit design.
  20. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
    CMC Laboratories can measure the specific heat (or heat capacity) of materials from -40C to 400C using the DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimeter) technique. Specific heat, when combined with thermal diffusivity measurements from laser flash, is used to calculate a thermal conductivity. Specific Heat can be measured on a very wide range of materials, including: ceramics, metals, polymers and composite materials.

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  1. Materials Characteriztion
    Materials Characteriztion
    This area is fully editable and you can use it to promote your products, services and facilities.
  2. Process Development
    Process Development
    This area is fully editable and you can use it to promote your products, services and facilities.
  3. Failure Anlaysis
    Failure Anlaysis
    This area is fully editable and you can use it to promote your products, services and facilities.
  4. Knowledge Base
    Knowledge Base
  1. Ion Milling / Polishing
  2. Chemical / Mechanical Decapsulation
  3. Reactive Ion Etching (RIE)
  4. Real Time X-ray Analysis
  5. Metallographic Cross-sections
  6. Precision Sub-Micron Cross-sections
  7. Electrical Component DPA
  8. Micro-Hardness Testing
  9. Our Services
  10. Laser Flash Thermal Conductivity
  11. Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
  12. SEM Analysis and Imagining
  13. Mechanical Testing
  14. Prototype Plating
  15. Image Analaysis
Industries and Technologies






CMC’s focus on semiconductor devices includes micron-level analysis of device structure and failure signatures.  CMC has significant experience with power semiconductor devices and with LEDs. CMC also provides competitive analysis for a wide range of semiconductor devices, which consists of in-depth tear downs, including basic device structure as well as packaging and encapsulation.
  ​In the medical area, CMC has significant experience in construction analysis of passive components used in implantable devices to determine potential failure modes.  This type of analysis involves in-depth microstructural characterization of materials and interfaces used in critical components, with an assessment of potential defects and projected associated failure modes.
  CMC has extensive experience in failure analysis, reliability evaluation and materials development in LED applications. This includes high power LED packaging (ceramic based), mid-power LED packaging (lead-frame based), and LED assembly technologies including die attach, wirebonding, encapsulation and molding. Working with major LED device manufacturers, CMC has been closely involved in the evolution of LED packaging solutions over the past decade.
  ​CMC has experience in a range of automotive applications, including: automotive LED lighting, hybrid circuits for automotive motor control, and automotive sensors with control circuits. CMC has direct experience with the specific and rigorous reliability requirements in the auto industry. In addition to standard failure analysis tests, CMC has developed specialized automotive focused characterization.
  ​CMC’s experience base in Mil-Aero applications includes failure mode identification and proposals for failure mode mitigation, predominantly in space applications.  CMC works closely with customer laboratories, government agencies and defense contractors. CMC’s role includes failure analysis aimed at root cause determination and physics of failure modeling to help customer’s teams quantify and address potential reliability issues. 
Since 2003
Innovative Materials Solutions
Company Info
Mission & Vision
Mon-Fri: 7am-6pm 
Sat-Sun: Closed
7755 S. Research Dr.
Tempe, Az 85284
Connect with Us
CMC Laboratories is a premier materials-focused analytical laboratory that specializes in root cause failure analysis.  CMC serves a global customer base working closely with our customer's quality organization, manufacturing, and product development to solve critical problems. CMC has a wide range of customers producing LEDs, power semiconductors, implantable medical devices, medical sensors, military hardware and specialized electronics used in satellites.