Spectroscopic characterization of interconnects and circuits in semiconductor devices has become increasingly complicated as dimensions for breakthroughs and failure analysis are continuously shrinking. To achieve high spatial resolution infrared (IR) spectroscopic information, a pulsed infrared laser can be coupled to an atomic force microscope in the atomic force microscopy IR (AFM-IR) technique. The combination of AFM-IR and Lorentz contact resonance AFM (LCR-AFM) has great potential for providing high spatial resolution chemical and mechanical analysis. To demonstrate the feasibility of the AFM-based techniques, AFM-IR spectrum and images were obtained from the interlayer dielectrics of a test structure at a length scale shorter than the IR wavelength. Using the LCR-AFM technique, the relative mechanical properties of the components could be mapped distinctively by observing the contact resonance of the AFM probe. Finally, preliminary data suggest there may be AFM-IR spectral differences between contamination and the bulk material on a liquid crystal display.

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