A method for separating a first component and a second component from one another at an adhesive bond interface between the first component and second component. Typically the method involves irradiating the first component with infrared radiation from a source that radiates substantially only short wavelengths until the adhesive bond is destabilized, and then separating the first component and the second component from one another. In some embodiments an assembly of components to be debonded is placed inside an enclosure and the assembly is illuminated from an IR source that is external to the enclosure. In some embodiments an assembly of components to be debonded is simultaneously irradiated by a multi-planar array of IR sources. Often the IR radiation is unidirectional. In some embodiments the IR radiation is narrow-band short wavelength infrared radiation.