Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy (SIMS) can be applied to all elements, and it facilitates the quantitative analysis of solid surfaces, including monolayers. The method is widely used in studies of adsorption, oxidation, corrosion, catalysis, diffusion and in characterization of thin films and coatings. 1 This technique can very well be applied in semiconductor failure analysis for not only detecting the source of failure, but also isolating the failure to a particular location, which is very important for corrective action procedures. SIMS analysis was performed on a CMOS VLSI sample with suspected mobile ionic problem, and it proved to be very effective in providing details of the specific mobile ionic elements involved, source of contamination, and resident location of the mobile ions.

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