Monday, April 22, 2013

Tools and Methods for Water Damaged Phones

Tools and Methods for Water Damaged Phones

It's worth recording the links from a discussion that has been being going on about water damaged phones:

Ultrasonic cleaning -
Vermiculite -
Fingerprint Study -
Solder Cleaning -
Isopropyl alcohol -
Non-forensic chip off -
Reballing -
Thermal Profiling -
Thermal Sensor Probes -

Updated subject matter:

Hydrophobic Coatings on Electronic Devices

I have been looking further into mobile phone exposure to water to see whether there has been any research or techniques or processes used in manufacturing to combat water damage / corrosions etc. Hydrophobic Coatings appears to offer one solution.

More cell phones are damaged by water than by any other means, and this damage often requires the devices to be discarded. The number of damaged phones is also increasing because these phones are now taken almost everywhere. Chemical vapor deposition may be used to provide a solution to this problem. For example, the phones may be coated with a hydrophobic monolayer or multilayer of fluorosilanes. Bonding of the fluorosilane may be adopted for improvement purposes using a primary adhesion layer, which may be a different silane monolayer, e.g., an isocyanatosilane, and/or by introduction of hydroxyl groups via plasma treatment. The latter process is identified as typically rapid and economical and can be applied both on oxide and polymeric materials. The presence of OH groups can be assayed by XPS, ToF-SIMS and ATR-FTIR. The density of surface hydroxyl groups can be varied by changing the proportions of etch gases, the time and intensity of the plasma treatment, and the system base pressure. The hydrophobicity of the surface can be characterised by contact angle goniometry and XPS and ToF-SIMS analysis of fluorine. Resistance to abrasion can be tested with a Martindale abrasion tester.

These selection of applied treatments appear to reduce and slow down the water damage/corrosion and present improved chances of memory retention in unspoiled memory chips.

I see a relevance for knowing about treatments, such as the above, as it can help on many levels: as background prep knowledge, towards a recovered exhibit examination procedure, for use in advisory role as to why some water damaged phone exhibits could produce better results or capable of undergoing tests than others phones, and so on.

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