IVA® (Internal Vapor Analysis)

Trust Our Experts with the Health of Your Devices

We at ORS specialize in performing Internal Vapor Analysis (IVA®) of hermetic equipment.

Having received suitability status from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Land & Maritime for military devices, we’re fully qualified to analyze your equipment. We also provide a Commercial Practice Test Method that utilizes research, development and process monitoring best practices. Whatever your hermetic equipment testing needs, we can provide accurate and industry appropriate data.

What is IVA®?

Internal Vapor Analysis, also called Residual Gas Analysis (RGA) uses a mass spectrometer to measure the types and amount of gases in hermetic devices, as well as the moisture concentration. Because these devices are supposed to be airtight, their internal atmospheric composition matters to their overall function and longevity.

Do I Need IVA®?

Too much moisture and certain kinds of gases can cause corrosion, fogging, leakage, data errors, and lubrication issues. This can shorten the lifespan of your hermetic devices, causing dangerous errors and costing you money. If you detect these harmful conditions soon enough, then you can take steps to avoid further damage to your equipment.

Test Description

Trust Our Experts with the Health of Your Devices

ORS is qualified to test military devices via the DLA Land & Maritime. Our Commercial Practice Testing Method also provides more than enough protection for other industries, exceeding military standards for instruments and calibration. This commercial testing method represents best practices in research and development. However, you can opt into a more flexible testing method using our IVA® submission form.

Understanding Mass Spectrometry

All of our methods utilize mass spectrometry, a method that analyzes chemical substances by producing ions (charged molecules). We then differentiate those ions based on their mass-to-charge ratio and determine how much of each kind is present relative to the others. This tells us what gases are present and how much of each type of gas is present.

Step-By-Step Testing

Our testing method is fairly straightforward. There may be some variation depending on your specific requirements.

  1. Your hermetic device is loaded onto our testing instrument.
  2. The inlet chamber of our instrument is subjected to high vacuum.
  3. The inlet chamber punctures the device.
  4. Gaseous contents released into inlet chamber.
  5. Electronic beam ionizes gas molecules.
  6. Substances fracture according to their chemical structure.
  7. Ions counted over a period of time according to their mass-to-charge ratio.
  8. Several scans are performed to get the relative number of ions in each fragment.

Results come out as pump-out curves for each atomic mass unit (AMU), which are then used to create the mass spectra results of the gas sample.

Substances are identified using a dedicated library for substances typically found in hermetic packages. If we are unable to identify a substance this way, we turn to a NIST mass spectra database for assistance.

IVA® Test Applications

IVA® is an invaluable R&D and process control tool. Engineers use it to build the quality products that you use in your industry. IVA® helps determine the integrity of your hermetic equipment in a variety of ways.

Seal Integrity

IVA® will tell you if there is a leak in your equipment. It can also help determine where the leak is located and how long it has been affecting the device, as well as whether you’re experiencing certain phenomena like the One Way Leaker.

Humidity Concentration

Humidity from condensation can occur inside or outside of the device. Excessive humidity (>5000ppm) can negatively affect the function and reliability of your device. In fact, humidity is considered the largest failure agent when it comes to the integrity of hermetic equipment, making it very important to monitor. Unchecked, it leads to oxidation, electrical leakage, metallic migration and more.

Sealing Gas Composition and Purity

In addition to the hermetic components themselves, it’s important to measure the atmosphere of your sealing equipment like dry boxes and sealing ovens. IVA® will determine the purity and proportions of the gases therein.

Cleaning Process Effectiveness

If IVA® does detect impurities, like residues or solvents, in your hermetic device, then it could be a sign that your cleaning process needs evaluation.

Material Stability

The materials used to create your hermetic device are not chemically passive. They may react with moisture, hydrogen or oxygen. Some of these materials may also not support elevated temperatures and will decompose in certain conditions. IVA® measures the byproducts of these reactions and any outgassed organics. In some cases, it can be paired with Outgassing Studies and GC/MS to identify and determine the origin of mixed material outgassing species.

IVA® Testing serves the needs of a wide range of high-tech industries:

Gas Containers

Microelectronics – Space – Defense

Optoelectronic – Telecom

Industrial Packaging


Lighting – Illumination


The IVA® Test is also a Support & Quality Assurance Tool:

  • Failure Analysis
  • Research & Development
  • Process Control
  • Incoming Inspection
  • Final Product Qualification

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