Cross Section Analysis

Cross section analysis creates a polished surface through a device or material and examines it microscopically with optical or SEM microscopy.  Such cross sections may also examined with energy dispersive x-ray analysis (EDX) or with x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS or ESCA).  Metallographic analysis usually utilizes cross section polishing and sometimes chemical or electrochemical etching to observe metallographic structures.

Illustrative Examples:

Voids in the solder on the connector side of a soldered joint in a printed circuit board. Voids are shown by arrows. Note the poor wetting of the lead on the right side, suggesting that contamination on the lead generated the gas that caused the voids.
Fiber Reinforced Plastic (FRP) cross section with several layers of fibers is shown. One layer has a large void shown by arrow.
A fractured edge (shown by arrow) of a green ceramic capacitor as a result of its mishandling during soldering assembly.

Also see the following examples applied to metallographic analysis:

Evaluating Chemical Plant Intergranular Corrosion with Metallography and XPS Chemical Analysis

Graphitic Corrosion in Grey Cast Iron

Inclusions in Steel

Sensitization of 304 Stainless Steels