Emission microscopy and thermal laser stimulation (OBIRCH, TIVA) are two key methods for backside failure analysis. They are both dedicated for localizing current leakage faults in ICs. The complementary relationship of these two techniques is illustrated through six practical case studies. Thermal laser stimulation was able to precisely and directly localize defects such as shorts in the IC’s metallic elements that where not readily detectable by emission microscopy. The case studies also illustrate the ability of thermal laser stimulation to detect and physically localize defects in the IC’s polysilicon layers and silicon substrate.

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