Tonight I learned how to reliably, repeatably remove the top of an integrated circuit package and expose the silicon without damaging it much, and without using acid. I'll do a writeup on @smellsofbikes later in the week, when I have a chip for which posting pictures online is permissible. I made a tiny vise to hold the chip, then I cut off 98.5% of the packaging material, then I hold it up to the bottom-side of a sideways flame so it's as cool as possible and gently bake the remaining epoxy until it's brittle, then oh so carefully scrub it off with a fiber brush and careful compression to fracture larger pieces using the tip of a pair of tweezers. That last bit, the careful compression, is by far the hardest, most nitpicky part. I'm using a 20x microscope and wish I had a 50x.