With the ever-increasing density and performance of integrated circuits, non-invasive, accurate, and high spatial and temporal resolution electric signal measurement instruments hold the key to performing successful diagnostics and failure analysis. Sampled electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) has the potential for such applications. It provides a noninvasive approach to measuring high frequency internal integrated circuit signals. Previous EFMs operate using a repetitive single-pulse sampling approach and are inherently subject to the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) problems when test pattern duty cycle times become large. In this paper we present an innovative technique that uses groups of pulses to improve the SNR of sampled EFM systems. The approach can easily provide more than an order of magnitude improvement to the SNR. The details of the approach are presented.

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