In-line E-beam inspection may be used for rapid generation of failure analysis (FA) results for low yielding test structures. This approach provides a number of advantages: 1) It is much earlier than traditional FA, 2) de-processing isn’t required, and 3) a high volume of sites can be processed with the additional support of an in-line FIB. Both physical defect detection and voltage contrast inspection modes are useful for this application. Voltage contrast mode is necessary for isolation of buried defects and is the preferred approach for opens, because it is faster. Physical defect detection mode is generally necessary to locate shorts. The considerations in applying these inspection modes for rapid failure analysis are discussed in the context of two examples: one that lends itself to physical defect inspection and the other, more appropriately addressed with voltage contrast inspection.

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