Few words about me:

From very childhood I loved computers, electronics, lasers, sulfuric acid and liquid nitrogen. I always wanted to be making microchips, UAVs and see nuclear explosion.

Now I am doing software engineering and in the spare time - some microelectronics and physics/chemistry experiments.

I live and work in Russia, Moscow.

Growing copper nano™ crystals

By accident came across process of growing metallic copper crystals.

The technology is the following: put some CuSO4 in a tube, then some NaCl on the top, and add some concentrated solution of NaCl (using distilled water). Then put some iron inside - and wait few days/weeks. Initially, I've tried that with nickel - but it didn't worked. Obviously, tube must be sealed - otherwise solution would just evaporate and everything would be contaminated by NaCl crystals.

I've decided to try 3 variants: without extra salt, with 0.5 thickness of salt, and 1.5.

April 22, 2013

Loving C++11 syntactic sugar

Isn't that beautiful?
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Life was so hard in pre-11 times...
April 13, 2013

300mm wafers arrived

Received 2x 300mm silicon wafers with microchips. I was really scared to receive a bag of shattered silicon - but they were packaged in special "wafer shipper", and hence intact. This is how most modern microchips looks like after manufacturing, but before dicing & packaging.

Why I bought it? I was curious and it's just beautiful :-)
Now there are 3x 300mm wafers in Russia: 2 are mine, and 1 is on exhibit at Mikron

April 13, 2013

Made in USA

Received bunch of good old "Made in USA" military microchips (late 80's) for decapsulation & photography. Still an open question how they got into Soviet Union back then?

April 5, 2013

Thin-film interference under microscope

Noticed interesting thing: Thin-film interference under microscope as alcohol evaporates on the surface of microchip.

April 2, 2013

Mikron fab

Visited Mikron fab in Zelenograd including 180nm and 90nm microelectronic manufacturing lines, the most advanced in Russia at the moment.

The only photo I can publish at the moment without going through censorship is decorative flash drive

March 9, 2013

Received bunch of relatively rare Soviet processors

Mostly Z80, LSI-11 and 8086 compatible ones. Will check what's inside soon ;-)
February 26, 2013

Got NBC suit for 23'th of February

Got NBC suit (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) for 23'th of February - Defender of the Fatherland Day.
February 23, 2013

Part II: How to «open» microchip and what's inside? Z80, Multiclet, MSP430, PIC and more

In this article I'll continue opening microchipsю If you've missed first article - it's here.

Inside you can find internals of K565RU5, Z80, KR580VM80A, MSP430F122, PIC16C505, PIC12C508, Russian rad-hard microcontroller 1886VE10, STM32F103VGT6, 556 timer, new RFID chip from Moscow's metro and Multiclet.

Also there is a short description of more "canonical" way of chip decapping, which would leave bond wires intact.

Read more on zeptobars.ru →
February 17, 2013

Finally was able to take a photo of Jupiter

After many weeks of bad weather in Moscow I finally was able to take a photo of Jupiter with my 500m/F8 mirror lens.

To the left side of Jupiter - Europa and Io, to the right - Ganymede. Callisto was very faint, and didn't fit into the frame (that's because it has albedo 0.22 compared to 0.63-0.67 for Europa and Io). Current distance to Jupiter is 685 million of kilometers.

I had to tune brightness curves separately for Jupiter and it's moons because Jupiter was too bright.

February 1, 2013