Abstract

This paper presents a method of using a conductive atomic force microscope (C-AFM) to characterize a submicron metal fuse that has been blown open inadequately by laser. In order to obtain a proper I-V curve measured using the C-AFM without affecting the incompletely opened fuse, the paper proposes a method of preserving the fuse by coating its surface with spin-on glass. The paper explains how differences in laser cutting machines resulted in the high failure repair rate of customer product despite equivalent energy and spot size settings. Analysis of the fuse bank circuitry on wafers helped to find the critical physical differences between a fully blown and a poorly blown fuse. By overcoming difficulties in preserving the blown fuse failure sites for C-AFM measurement, laser settings could be easily optimized to ensure proper fuse opening.

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