Ionic contamination

Quantification and qualification

Detecting and rectifying ionic contamination

Ionic contamination on printed circuit boards and assemblies, medical products or automotive components can cause malfunctions and failures that, in turn, can cause serious consequential damage.  Even during manufacture, residual contamination can cause problems during coating and bonding processes.

With ion chromatography (IC) or high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), we offer you a sensitive verification method with which the presence of ions can not only be verified, but also quantified. In this way conclusions can be drawn as to the source of the contamination and problems rectified quickly and efficiently.

+49 7022 2796-681

Analyses for electronics production
© Patrick Daxenbichler -

Verification of ionic contamination using ion chromatography

During the verification of ionic contamination, we use ion chromatography (IC). This process detects dissolved salts using a conductivity measuring cell and determines the nature and quantity of the dissolved salts. IC is superior to the ROSE test because it provides greater resolution of detail.

Fast, reliable
measurement results

  • Assessment of the ionic contamination (anions, cations and organic acids) present on the assembly
  • Qualitative and quantitative resolution of substances using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Assessment of unknown substances based on the retention time
  • Continuous quality monitoring and surface qualification using IC
  • Analysis in accordance with standards such as IPC-TM-650 2.3.28 or customer-specific requirements
Analysis method - Ion chromatography (IC)

Ion chromatography

Using ion chromatography (IC), cations and anions are assessed with the aid of standards. In this way unknown substances can also be identified via their retention time.

Normally we analyse for you during the investigation of ionic contamination:

  • Anions (bromide, chloride, fluoride, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, sulphate)
  • Cations (ammonium, calcium, lithium, magnesium, potassium, sodium)
  • Organic acids (acetate, adipate, glutamate, malate, methane sulphonate, succinate, phthalate)

Please contact us for special analyses.

With extensive experience, excellent equipment and sound expertise, our experts obtain the best from every analytical method so that you can rely on excellent measurement results.

+49 7022 2796-681

DAkkS accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025

Accredited test laboratory for the analysis of ionic contamination

Identification and quantification of organic and inorganic substances, materials, residues, deposits and contaminants using FT-lR and energy dispersive (EDX) spectroscopy are accredited by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. Furthermore, all our other specialist areas have also been accredited.

You can read more about the advantages our accreditation offers you here: 

Find out more

Frequently asked questions

How does ionic contamination occur?

Ionic contamination can have many causes. Often insufficient rinsing, e.g. after the electroplating of a component or flux residues after soldering are responsible. However, incorrect handling of the related component or simply dust can cause contamination.

What are the possible consequences of ionic contamination?

Ionic contamination can cause, among other issues, the formation of dendrites that, in turn, can cause short circuits that destroy the entire component or cause even more damage. However, even if the damage is not so serious, ionic contamination, for instance caused by electrochemical migration, can lead to malfunctions. For this reason the measurement of ionic contamination is an important element of quality assurance.




Are you looking for a partner for technical cleanliness verification?
We would be pleased to advise you about the analysis options and assist you with the evaluation of particulate and filmic component cleanliness. The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient analysis of your component.


Call us, we look forward to hearing from you!