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Title: Integrated circuit failure analysis by low-energy charge-induced voltage alteration

A scanning electron microscope apparatus and method are described for detecting and imaging open-circuit defects in an integrated circuit (IC). The invention uses a low-energy high-current focused electron beam that is scanned over a device surface of the IC to generate a charge-induced voltage alteration (CIVA) signal at the location of any open-circuit defects. The low-energy CIVA signal may be used to generate an image of the IC showing the location of any open-circuit defects. A low electron beam energy is used to prevent electrical breakdown in any passivation layers in the IC and to minimize radiation damage to the IC. The invention has uses for IC failure analysis, for production-line inspection of ICs, and for qualification of ICs.
Inventors:
 [1]
  1. (2116 White Cloud St., NE., Albuquerque, NM 87112)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
870444
Assignee:
Cole, Jr., Edward I. (2116 White Cloud St., NE., Albuquerque, NM 87112) SNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5523694
Contract Number:
AC04-94AL85000
Research Org:
SANDIA CORP
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
integrated; circuit; failure; analysis; low-energy; charge-induced; voltage; alteration; scanning; electron; microscope; apparatus; method; described; detecting; imaging; open-circuit; defects; high-current; focused; beam; scanned; device; surface; generate; civa; signal; location; image; energy; prevent; electrical; breakdown; passivation; layers; minimize; radiation; damage; production-line; inspection; ics; qualification; scanning electron; voltage alteration; passivation layer; device surface; electron microscope; electron beam; integrated circuit; beam energy; failure analysis; radiation damage; open-circuit defects; electrical breakdown; prevent electrical; microscope apparatus; focused electron; /324/