Solid-state semiconductor devices such as III-V based photodiodes can suffer damage from electro-static discharge (ESD) events. Electron beam induced current (EBIC) imaging techniques have been used successfully to characterize a wide range of failure modes in many different material systems. This article proposes a technique of superimposing the EBIC image with the secondary electron image which permits the correlation of the recombination center with defects and is a powerful tool to assist in the understanding of the root cause for failure. Further complementing the EBIC and SEM analysis with optical microscopy, DC and AC electrical characterization enhances the understanding of the location, nature and mode of failure. The creation of these defects is very localized and commonly occurs at pre-existing defect sites or along the periphery of the metal guard ring. This is characteristic of ESD-induced failure along with the localized heating and evaporation of material.