Thermal Decapping

During my A-Levels my chemistry teacher started up an element collection. As a leaving gift, I felt it would be good to provide a sample of perhaps the most important element in electronics to the collection. Decapping ICs to extract their silicon goodies inside is an often discussed topic on electronics forums. The epoxy of a standard DIP package is remarkably strong and resistant stuff. An often documented method is to heat the device in a puddle of nitric acid.