The ability to discern the composition and placement of atoms in a sample makes TEM one of the most powerful characterization tools for microelectronic components. For many devices, however, the dynamics underlying normal operation do not displace atoms. Device function is, instead, mediated by electronic and thermal processes that have little effect on physical structure, necessitating additional tools to determine the causes of failure. In this article, the author presents results indicating that STEM EBIC, with the new SEEBIC mode, can provide electronic contrast that complements the physical-based contrast of STEM imaging. By identifying device features at higher risk of failure, the two methods may open a path to predictive failure analysis.

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