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Physics and Chemistry of Volatile Species in Hermetic Electronic Devices

“Physics and Chemistry of Volatile Species in Hermetic Electronic Devices” is a book written by Philipp Wh Schuessler (ISBN # 978-1-300-713135-5) and is available on This is an excellent treatment of a complicated subject and is totally grounded in reality.

Phil begins the book with a brief, but important review of the military test specs (Mil-Std-883) pertaining to RGA (Residual Gas Analysis) and the associated hermeticity test methods (TM 1014). Failures in microelectronics due to high moisture and/or high hydrogen content have in the past crippled important military systems and continue to be a major reliability concern in modern day microelectronics intended for high reliability aerospace and medical devices.

Phil shows the reader how to correctly interpret the RGA data and use the information to understand and improve the process. Chapter 10 is loaded with real life case studies based on years of industry experience at IBM Systems. Phil was a pioneer in understanding and documenting the source and problems associated with high hydrogen content in hermetic enclosures that contained sensitive GaAs based amplifiers.

He was also a major force behind the development of Test Method 5011 and the IVA test standard TM 1018. He continues to be active in the field and has recently done a lot of work towards the development of an industry moisture consensus standard.

Phil is also the coordinator of the Minnowbrook Microelectronics Conference, an informal group of engineers and scientists that meet once a year to discuss moisture and related issues.

The book is very well referenced and the seven Appendices are really helpful. It’s a useful and practical book and one I would highly recommend to the serious professional.