Failures caused by threshold voltage (Vt) shifts in sub-100nm technology transistors have become very difficult to both analyze and determine the failure mechanism. The failure mechanisms for Vt shifts are typically non-visible for traditional physical analysis methods such as SEM inspection or traditional TEM analysis. This paper demonstrates how nano-probing was used to carefully and fully characterize the Vt shift failure to determine a specific electrical signature for a specific failure mechanism and then with junction stain Transmission Electronic Microscopy (TEM) verify the subtle doping defect affecting the Static Random Access Memory function in the 65nm generation node. Device failure due to a lack of Lightly Dope Drain (LDD) implant induced by an inconspicuous spacer defect was determined to be the root cause of the failure.

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