R&D Capabilities

Chemical Analytical Laboratory

The strength of Chemical Analytical Laboratory lies in its ability to identify and quantify micro-contaminants in hard disk drive components. The source of the contaminants can be from packaging materials, environment equipment, process and human. With the increase in data storage density, the tolerance level for contamination in the disk drive becomes lesser. Micro-contaminants present in the hard disk drive components can include ionic and organic materials. They can result in corrosion, stiction, head-disk crash, drive failure, and defects in heads and media.


Our Chemical Analysis Laboratory is equipped with following major analytical instruments:

  • Gas Chromatography Mass Spectroscopy with dynamic headspace analysis
  • Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectroscopy
  • Thermogravimetric Analyzer
  • Raman Imaging Microscopy

Our chemical analytical techniques have been utilized in the hard disk drive and semiconductor manufacturing industries for (1) identification and quantification of metallic and anionic contaminants on hard disk media, (2) checking the cleaning effectiveness on precision machined parts, (3) presence of air-borne molecular contaminants (AMC) in cleanroom environment, and (4) detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in hard disk drive / electronic components via dynamic headspace analysis. 

Our applications include:

  • Quantification of corrosion products from disk media using ICP-MS.
  • Monitoring of airborne molecular contaminants in cleanroom environment using GC-MS and coupled with Thermal Desorption System (TDS)
  • Monitor cleaning effectiveness of semiconductor equipment parts and voice coil motor using ICP-MS

Who to Contact:
Dr Ji Rong
E: ji_rong@imre.a-star.edu.sg