Abstract

Xradia has developed a laboratory table-top transmission x-ray microscope, TXM 54-80, that uses 5.4 keV x-ray radiation to nondestructively image buried submicron structures in integrated circuits with at better than 80 nm 2D resolution. With an integrated tomographic imaging system, a series of x-ray projections through a full IC stack, which may include tens of micrometers of silicon substrate and several layers of Cu interconnects, can be collected and reconstructed to produce a 3D image of the IC structure at 100 nm resolution, thereby allowing the user to detect, localize, and characterize buried defects without having to conduct layer by layer deprocessing and inspection that are typical of conventional destructive failure analysis. In addition to being a powerful tool for both failure analysis and IC process development, the TXM may also facilitate or supplant investigations using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and focused ion beam (FIB) tools, which generally require destructive sample preparation and a vacuum environment.

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