I am on the hunt for several ICs by searching for the markings on them. But sometimes the markings are just too vague and I cannot really guarantee that the IC I found is the IC I am looking for. I know that some manufacturers place a logo or something equivalent on the die itself, and that it is possible to x-ray the package in order to see the bare die.

My question is, is there any home-made (preferably cheap) alternative to the x-ray method?

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    \$\begingroup\$ I take it you wouldn't be interested in some of the destructive techniques sometimes used, such as using a solvent to remove the encapsulation so it can be viewed under a microscope? \$\endgroup\$ – PeterJ Apr 23 '14 at 13:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Simply remove the package and look at the die with an optical microscope. Hot acid spray is typically used, so it's not really suitable for literal home use, but for a small company it's possible. \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Apr 23 '14 at 13:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could live dangerously. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Apr 23 '14 at 15:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm going to go out on a limb and guess x-raying the parts will not tell you anything useful. \$\endgroup\$ – Matt Young Apr 23 '14 at 19:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ @markt Well, the 60s were a different time. I think my favourite part about that article is that one of the parts for the $20 x-ray machine is a vibrator from the spark coil of a Ford Model T. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Apr 24 '14 at 5:57

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