Abstract

Device repair using Focused Ion Beam(FIB) systems has been in use for most of the last decade. Most of this has been done by people who have been essentially self-taught. The result has been a long learning curve to become proficient in device repair. Since a great deal of the problem is that documentation on this “art form” is found in papers from many different disciplines, this work attempts to summarize all of the available information under one title. The primary focus of FIB device repair is to ensure and maintain device integrity and subsequently retain market share while optimizing the use of the instrument, usually referred to as ‘beam time’. We describe and discuss several methods of optimizing beam time. First, beam time should be minimized while doing on chip navigation to reach the target areas. Several different approaches are discussed: dead reckoning, 3-point alignment, CAD-based navigation, and optical overlay. Second, after the repair areas are located and identified, the desired metal levels must be reached using a combination of beam currents and gas chemistries, and then filled up and strapped to make final connections. Third, cuts and cleanups must be performed as required for the final repair. We will discuss typical values of the beam currents required to maintain device integrity while concurrently optimizing repair time. Maintaining device integrity is difficult because of two potentially serious interactions of the FIB on the substrate: 1) since the beam consists of heavy metal ions (typically Gallium) the act of imaging the surface produces some physical damage; 2) the beam is positively charged and puts some charge into the substrate, making it necessary to use great care working in and around capacitors or active areas such as transistors, in order to avoid changing the threshold voltage of the devices. Strategies for minimizing potential damage and maximizing quality and throughput will be discussed.

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