Abstract

The identification of foreign material at metal-oxide interface or at the poly-substrate interface by means energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) is very difficult. Auger depth profiling can be used as an alternative method to cross-section EDS analysis for the identification of very thin layers of foreign material in semiconductor devices. This article presents a sample preparation method adapted from a planar transmission electron microscopy sample preparation method so that Auger depth profiling can be used as a practical tool for identifying very thin layers of foreign materials at interfaces buried deep within semiconductor devices. The discussion covers the advantages, applications, and the procedure for performing the analysis. The high degree of control provided by the method gives an analyst the ability to easily thin down material layers to less than 100nm of a target layer, thereby significantly reducing sample preparation time as well as analysis time on the Auger tool.

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