A novel method for obtaining diffraction limited high resolution images, and increased signal to noise ratio (SnR), for imaging and probing silicon based complementary metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (CMOS, and MOSFET) integrated circuits (IC), is presented. The improved imaging is based on the sub wavelength features’ asymmetric layout, which is dictated by the lithography design rules constrain in CMOS IC and their interactions with polarized light. This asymmetry in layout and the inherent stress engineering on the CMOS IC, produce both dichroism and birefringence in silicon (Si). An elegant design enabled us to obtain two images with orthogonal polarization detection to take advantages of the dichroism and birefringence in Si based CMOS IC. Differential Polarization Image (DPI) is obtained by subtracting the two orthogonal polarization resolved images. On infrared emission microscopes (IREM), DPI in optical imaging mode and DPI plus probing [DPIP] in emission mode, showed 2X or more in terms of optical resolution (imaging mode) and 2X or more SnR (emission-probing mode) improvements. Striking images in probing mode, revealing previously “invisible” emission, were demonstrated.

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