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Proceedings Paper

3D transmission electron microscopy method development for failure analysis in VCSEL arrays
Author(s): Xiaoyan Wang; Jefferson Abrenica; Patrick Koh
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Paper Abstract

High power vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays with multiple emitters have been receiving remarkable attention currently due to their emerging applications in consumer market such as 3D sensing illumination laser source in mobile devices as well as in automotive LIDAR applications. Failure mode analysis will help provide useful information for VCSEL array design and process improvement. However, using solely general physical failure analysis techniques is insufficient. The challenge of failure mechanism study is how to locate and capture the small physical defects in the early stage since it may randomly occur in the entire active region of the emitter This work developed 3D transmission electron microscopy (TEM) method, that is, planar-view TEM together cross-section TEM, to investigate failure mode phenomenon in this kind of high power VCSEL arrays. Overstressed reliability testing intentionally create failure in VCSEL arrays where dim emitters are found. Optical microscope images can’t see any abnormality while infrared microscope can catch small ‘mouse-bite’ abnormality at oxide aperture. Planar-view TEM method is developed to isolate the target dim emitter and trim away most of the top and bottom DBR layers to keep the oxide layer and active region to thin enough where 200KV electron beam can penetrate planar-view lamella. The whole oxide aperture is achieved and scanning TEM images clearly show the ‘flower-like’ oxide blasters at oxide aperture periphery. It is from further oxidation of the oxide tip. Cross-section TEM reveal the oxide layer morphology where the further oxidation layer from oxide tip is thinner than the original oxide layer. The oxide tip further oxidation is possibly due to non-reaction steam in existence in the oxide causing the second oxidation of oxide layer during overstress test. This work demonstrate that 3D TEM method is good technique to catch small physical failure features in VCSEL arrays, which will help to analyze failure mode in high power VCSEL arrays for 3D sensing application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2020
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11356, Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics IX, 1135612 (1 April 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2552350
Show Author Affiliations
Xiaoyan Wang, ams Sensors Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
Jefferson Abrenica, ams Sensors Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
Patrick Koh, ams Sensors Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11356:
Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics IX
Marc Sciamanna; Rainer Michalzik; Krassimir Panajotov; Sven Höfling, Editor(s)

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