A high-resolution table-sized x-ray nanotomography (XRMT) tool has been constructed that shows the promise of nondestructively imaging the internal structure of a full IC stack with a spatial resolution better than 100 nm. Such a tool can be used to detect, localize, and characterize buried defects in the IC. By collecting a set of X-ray projections through the full IC (which may include tens of micrometers of silicon substrate and several layers of Cu interconnects) and applying tomographic reconstruction algorithms to these projections, a 3D volumetric reconstruction can be obtained, and analyzed for defects using 3D visualization software. XRMT is a powerful technique that will find use in failure analysis and IC process development, and may facilitate or supplant investigations using SEM, TEM, and FIB tools, which generally require destructive sample preparation and a vacuum environment.

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