Quality or failure analysis is a very critical step that needs to be done on products before they are finally released on the market. Here products are verified under various test parameters and conditions to make them perfect for use.
One of the steps in this regard is to test hermetically sealed devices for any traces of gas that may have infiltrated their interior during manufacture. It is a very critical step since such gases, especially the moisture content in them, can cause serious problems in the operation of the device. It can cause corrosion, fogging, leaks, current bit errors, and other lubrication problems. Various equipment like a package leak detector are used to test a product's quality.
To maintain control of these trace elements, a specialized analytical technique known as residual gas analysis, or RGA, could be used. This technique is useful for process development, quality control, study of gasification in closed materials and also for product qualification.
Instruments used for trace gas detection are known as residual gas analyzers. These instruments work by creating a beam of ions from the gas sample being analyzed. Here, the resulting mixture of ions so produced is separated into individual species through their specific charge-to-mass ratios.
To determine these ratios, a typical RGA consists of three main parts, namely an ionizer, a mass analyzer, and an ion detector. Gas molecules under control are converted into ions with the help of an ionizer. The difference in ions is determined in terms of their masses using the mass analyzer portion of the RGA. The output of these gas analyzers shows the relative intensities of the different species present in the gas.