Failure Analysis - Die Level

In the past, many problems on semiconductor components could be located and diagnosed using an optical microscope, or a scanning electron microscope. Today’s complex integrated circuits can be much more difficult to analyze. This requires a number of defect localization techniques. These techniques include: electron beam techniques, optical beam techniques, photon emission microscopy or light emission, scanned probe techniques, and thermal detection techniques. In addition, one must be able to expose and connect to the area of interest. Chemical unlayering techniques continue to be important; however, a newer tool is rapidly gaining use in this arena - the focused ion beam system.

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Chemical Unlayering

Deprocessing and Sample Preparation are important parts of the failure analysis process. Deprocessing is used to expose underlying layers for examination and characterization and viewing cross-sectioned surfaces. These courses provide information on how to deprocess circuits using chemical etches, plasma and reactive ion etches, and parallel polishing techniques. There is also a course discussing how to cross section circuits. Another course provides information on automated cross-sectioning techniques and TEM sample preparation. A final course provides information on chemical safety.

Presentations

Sample Preparation - Part 1

Sample Preparation - Part 2

Sample Preparation - Part 3

Sample Preparation - Part 4

Sample Preparation - Part 5

Sample Preparation - Part 6

Sample Preparation - Part 7

Deprocessing Quiz

Documents

Chemical Unlayering

Trion Phantom Ion Etch System Simulation

Videos

Acid Decapsulation

Passivation Removal - Reactive Ion Etch

Certificate

Chemical Unlayering Certificate

Electron Beam Techniques

Electron Beam Techniques are a class of fault localization techniques that utilize a scanning electron microscope. These techniques rely on the interaction of the electron beam with the sample while monitoring an aspect of the electrical behavior of the circuit. These techniques include: charge-induced voltage alteration or CIVA, electron beam induced current or EBIC, resistive contrast imaging or RCI, and several variants of voltage contrast.

Presentations

Voltage Contrast

Electron Beam Absorbed Current

Electron Beam Induced Current

Charge-Induced Voltage Alteration

Low Energy Charge Induced Voltage Alteration

Electron Beam Techniques Quiz

Documents

Voltage Contrast

Electron Beam Absorbed Current

Electron Beam Induced Current

Charge Induced Voltage Alteration

Low Energy Charge Induced Voltage Alteration

Electron Beam Techniques

Videos

Electron Beam Probing - Imaging

Electron Beam Probing - Setup

Electron Beam Probing - Waveform Acquisition

Resistive Contrast Imaging

Capacitive Coupled Voltage Contrast & Static Voltage Contrast

Charge Induced Voltage Alteration

Nanoprobing

Certificate

Electron Beam Techniques Certificate

FIB

Introduction

The focused ion beam (FIB) system has become an indispensable tool for failure analysis, design debug, and circuit editing. The FIB allows one to make modifications to a circuit and test them before generating new masks for a chip design. This can save millions of dollars in mask and wafer processing costs. The FIB is also used for TEM sample preparation, cross-sectioning, and other types of micromachining activities.

Presentations

Focused Ion Beam Technology - Part 1

Focused Ion Beam Technology - Part 2

Focused Ion Beam Technology Quiz

Documents

Focused Ion Beam Technology

Videos

Circuit Editing and Cross Sectioning

Focused Ion Beam Overview

Certificate

Focused Ion Beam Certificate

Inspection

Introduction

Die inspection is arguably one of the most important aspects of any failure analysis job. Die inspection is normally where one first generates an image of the defect, whether it be immediately after opening the sample or preparing the die for backside inspection, or after one or more layers have been removed. Die inspection is performed using three techniques: optical microscopy, infrared microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Optical microscopy is performed on the front side of semiconductor devices; infrared microscopy is performed from the backside, and scanning electron microscopy is performed on surface features.

Presentations

Infrared Microscopy

Optical Microscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Optical and SEM Inspection Quiz

Documents

Inspection

Videos

Nomarski Imaging of Bond Pads

Optical Microscopy - Brightfield, Darkfield, and Interference Contrast Imaging; How To Take A Picture; Determining Oxide Cuts

Low Power Optical Microscopy

UV Fluorescene

Scanning Electron Microscopy Overview

Certificate

Inspection Certificate

Light Emission

Introduction

Light Emission Microscopy is a powerful technique for fault localization at the die level. Light Emission Microscopy uses an image intensifier or a cooled semiconductor array camera to detect light emanating from a semiconductor device. Many defects either emit light or cause emission in associated transistors. A variant of light emission called PICA can be used for inferring waveform information on an integrated circuit. Although the technique is quite powerful, interpretation of light emission data can be challenging. The analyst must possess a sound understanding of electrical circuit behavior as well as device recognition skills.

Presentations

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 1

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 2

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 3

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 4

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 5

Electroluminescence

Light Emission Quiz

Documents

Electroluminescence

Light Emission Microscopy

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 1

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 2

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 3

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 4

Light Emission Microscopy - Part 5

Videos

Light Emission

Light Emission with DCG Meridian System

Certificate

Light Emission Certificate

Optical Beam Techniques

Introduction

Failure analysts now perform much of the fault localization work from the backside of the device. The complexity of the integrated circuits and the packaging has caused this transition. In order to penetrate the silicon, optical beam techniques are used. They are a class of techniques that rely on the interaction of an optical beam with the active devices or interconnect on the circuit. These include: electro-optical probing, light induced voltage alteration or LIVA, thermally induced voltage alteration or TIVA, optical beam induced current or OBIC, resistive interconnect localization and soft defect localization. The distinguishing feature of these techniques is that they require a scanning optical microscope system, and occasionally, complex stimulus, in the form of a properly chosen or designed vector set.

Presentations

Optical Beam Techniques - Part 1

Optical Beam Techniques - Part 2

Optical Beam Techniques - Part 3

Optical Beam Techniques - Part 4

Optical Beam Techniques - Part 5

Solid Immersion Lenses

Optical Beam Techniques Quiz

Documents

Optical Beam Techniques

Videos

LIVA 1 - Light Induced Voltage Operation

LIVA 2 - Backside Logic State Detection

LIVA 3 - Backside Examination Example

Seeback Effect Imaging

TIVA - Backside SRAM short

TIVA - Metal-2 Metal-3 Short

Certificate

Optical Beam Techniques Certificate

Scanned Probe Techniques

Introduction

The invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981 has spawned a variety of instruments and techniques that fall under a category called Scanned Probe Techniques. Scanned Probe techniques involve micromachined tips that can be scanned with great precision over the surface of a device. These techniques can be used to look at the topography of a surface, and a variety of other phenomena such as electrical, magnetic, capacitive, thermal, and optical interactions.

Presentations

Scanned Probe Techniques - Part 1

Scanned Probe Techniques - Part 2

Scanning Probe Microscopy Techniques Quiz

Documents

Scanned Probe Techniques

Videos

NONE

Certificate

Scanned Probe Techniques Certificate

Thermal Detection Techniques

Introduction

Thermal Detection Techniques are a class of techniques used to detect heat-generating defects on semiconductor devices. They are also occasionally used to verify thermal models of semiconductor components. The most popular of the thermal detection techniques are Infrared Thermography, Liquid Crystal Thermography, and Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging. Infrared Thermography is a sensitive, non-contact technique, but it lacks the spatial resolution needed for fine localization on semiconductor dice. Liquid Crystal Thermography has better spatial resolution, but only delineates temperatures above or below a certain temperature. Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging has good spatial resolution and thermal mapping capabilities, but is somewhat more difficult to use.

Presentations

Liquid Crystal Thermography

Thermal Detection Techniques - Part 1

Thermal Detection Techniques - Part 2

Thermal Detection Techniques - Part 3

Thermal Detection Techniques - Part 4

Thermal Detection Techniques - Part 5

Thermal Detection Techniques Quiz

Documents

Thermal Detection Techniques

Videos

Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging

Liquid Crystal Thermography

Certificate

Thermal Detection Techniques Certificate