With the scaling down of semiconductor devices to nanometer range, physical failure analysis (PFA) has become more challenging. In this paper, a different method of performing PFA to identify a physical vertical short of intermetal layer in nanoscale devices is discussed. The proposed chemical etch and backside chemical etch PFA techniques have the advantages of sample preparation evenness and efficiency compared to conventional PFA. This technique also offers a better understanding of the failure mechanism and is easier to execute in identifying the vertical short issue.

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