Device shrinkage has resulted in thinner barriers and smaller vias. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) has become a common technique for barrier profile analysis because of its high image resolution. TEM sample preparation and image interpretation becomes difficult when the size of the small cylindrical via is close to the TEM sample thickness. Effects of different sample thickness and specimen preparation methods, therefore, have been investigated. An automatic FIB program has been shown to be useful in via sample preparation. Techniques for imaging a TEM specimen will be discussed in the paper. Conventional TEM bright field (BF) image is adequate to examine the barrieronly via; however, other techniques are more suitable for a Cu filled via.

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