Infra-red Thermal Laser Stimulation (TLS) signatures obtained on semiconductor materials can be difficult to interpret and to distinguish from signatures from metallic materials. Investigations presented here consist in the study of TLS signals on unsilicided/silicided polycrystalline and diffused silicon resistors of 0.18µm technology. The influence of each process parameter on the TLS signal has been observed and evaluated from the front and back side of the circuit. This allowed us to quantify the effect of the silicon substrate thickness on TLS signal detection and to determine the ideal silicon thickness for sample preparation. This study also completes our methodology based on the TCR parameter which aims at improving defect localization in the depth (Z) of circuitry. As it will be shown through failure analysis case studies, this methodology increases the physical analysis success rate and reduces the turnaround time.