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Issue 18, 2014
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Detection of counterfeit electronic components through ambient mass spectrometry and chemometrics

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Abstract

In the last several years, illicit electronic components have been discovered in the inventories of several distributors and even installed in commercial and military products. Illicit or counterfeit electronic components include a broad category of devices that can range from the correct unit with a more recent date code to lower-specification or non-working systems with altered names, manufacturers and date codes. Current methodologies for identification of counterfeit electronics rely on visual microscopy by expert users and, while effective, are very time-consuming. Here, a plasma-based ambient desorption/ionization source, the flowing atmospheric pressure afterglow (FAPA) is used to generate a mass-spectral fingerprint from the surface of a variety of discrete electronic integrated circuits (ICs). Chemometric methods, specifically principal component analysis (PCA) and the bootstrapped error-adjusted single-sample technique (BEAST), are used successfully to differentiate between genuine and counterfeit ICs. In addition, chemical and physical surface-removal techniques are explored and suggest which surface-altering techniques were utilized by counterfeiters.

Graphical abstract: Detection of counterfeit electronic components through ambient mass spectrometry and chemometrics

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Article information


Submitted
13 Jun 2014
Accepted
07 Jul 2014
First published
08 Jul 2014

Analyst, 2014,139, 4505-4511
Article type
Paper

Detection of counterfeit electronic components through ambient mass spectrometry and chemometrics

K. P. Pfeuffer, J. Caldwell, J. T. Shelley, S. J. Ray and G. M. Hieftje, Analyst, 2014, 139, 4505
DOI: 10.1039/C4AN01071J

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