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Proceedings Paper

Use of the charge-induced voltage alteration technique to analyze precursors to dielectric breakdown
Author(s): Daniel L. Barton; Edward I. Cole Jr.
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Paper Abstract

Charge-Induced Voltage Alteration (CIVA) is a new scanning electron microscopy technique to rapidly localize open conductors on integrated circuits (ICs). CIVA uses a constant current source to power the IC under test and produces an image by monitoring the variation in voltage supplied to the IC as a function of electron beam position. This concept of observing supply voltage changes as in CIVA has been applied to Tunneling Current Microscopy (TCM). TCM has been used to localize oxide defects in biased, large area MOS capacitors before oxide breakdown by measuring the fluctuations in current with electron beam position. These changes are normally on the order of 10 nA. Conventional current amplifiers normally limit the applied voltage thereby reducing the operational range of the TCM technique unless special circuit modifications are employed. By using a constant current source and monitoring the voltage changes across the capacitor being analyzed, there are no voltage limitations. Signal magnitudes on the order of 5 mV have been recorded from capacitor defects using the CIVA setup. A detailed description of the CIVA acquisition system used for TCM and a comparison with conventional TCM are provided. Images of oxide defects before breakdown are presented to show that, while the two approaches are comparable and each has its own strengths and weaknesses, the CIVA approach is a superior technique for precursor localization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 January 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1802, Microelectronics Manufacturing and Reliability, (14 January 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.139347
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel L. Barton, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Edward I. Cole Jr., Sandia National Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1802:
Microelectronics Manufacturing and Reliability
Barbara Vasquez; Anant G. Sabnis; Kenneth P. MacWilliams; Jason C.S. Woo, Editor(s)

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