Residual Gas Analysis (RGA)
Internal Gas Composition Analysis

In order to eliminate failures in microelectronic components caused by chemical reaction (corrosion), the internal gas composition of the component must be known. MIL-STD-883, MIL-STD 750, Method 1018 is generally the accepted specification for internal water vapor content. The Residual Gas Analysis (RGA) testing method defines procedures for RGA equipment calibration and device testing, as well as the maximum acceptable limits for internal water vapor content. EAG Laboratories has many years of experience as a DLA (Defense Logistics Agency) laboratory suitable for MIL-STD-883, 750, Method 1018.

What is Residual Gas Analysis?

RGA is useful for more than moisture content analysis. EAG’s RGA testing system can detect all masses up to 140 AMU, allowing common gasses to be identified and quantified. Samples of process atmospheres and unusual sealing environments can be analyzed to detect the evolution or resorption of gasses. The system software can determine moisture content as well as an entire spectrum of gasses in the component.

Integrated circuits

In addition to providing routine RGA analysis, EAG has the technical expertise to identify the origin of the “problem” internal gasses and provide corrective action on an as-needed basis. We can provide consulting for process improvements, based on our many years of experience providing RGA testing at our Los Angeles and Fort Collins locations.

The lifetime of electronic components follows a predictable trend. A significant number of components fail prematurely at a very early age (“infant mortality”). Once past this initial failure stage, they usually perform for a long period of time with a very low probability of failure.

High reliability electronic components are often required to operate for long periods of time, having little or no opportunity for replacement. Orbiting satellites are good examples of this situation. Parts that meet the requirement for “space usage” are also used in applications where replacement is difficult, and/or failure engenders great risk.

The infant mortality problem can be addressed by the implementation of stringent quality controls during manufacturing. SEM examination of metallization, glassivation analysis, thorough precap inspection, electrical burn-in and DPA procedures will identify the respective problems. Old-age failures are usually related to either transient phenomena, such as ESD or EOS, mechanical shock, thermal excursions or chemical reactions, such as corrosion.

Other MIL-STD-883 testing available at EAG:

Ideal Uses of RGA

  • Packages: DIP’s, quad packs, TO-x cans, metal-lidded devices, filler gas containers and many other geometries can be analyzed


  • All gases with molecular weights between 1-140 mass units can be identified with a survey scan, or up to 16 components can be preselected for quantitative analysis


  • Package must be hermetically sealed with cavity size not smaller than 0.01 cc

RGA Technical Specifications

  • Volumes: 0.01 cc to 25 cc volumes can be analyzed. Precision radiographic technique is used to determine the volume of a package
  • Analysis: All gases with molecular weights between 1-140 mass units can be identified with a survey scan, or up to 16 components can be preselected for quantitative analysis
  • MIL-STD-883/750 Testing: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, moisture, hydrogen, helium, fluorocarbons, methane, and ammonia are measured and reported

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