With the growing complexity of new processes and the introduction of new materials, the need for product yield management and process control is placing unprecedented demands on failure analysis laboratories in the semiconductor industry. These demands are calling for faster and superior analytical capabilities to determine root-cause failure mechanisms in semiconductor devices fabricated using deep submicron processes. This article presents a new automated sample preparation technique that facilitates direct electrical contact to the area of interest, with a surface quality sufficient for scanning probe microscope analysis.

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