Abstract

Plan view TEM imaging is a powerful technique for failure analysis and semiconductor process characterization. Sample preparation for near-surface defects requires additional care, as the surface of the sample needs to be protected to avoid unintentionally induced damage. This paper demonstrates a straightforward method to create plan view samples in a dual beam focused ion beam (FIB) for TEM studies of near-surface defects, such as misfit dislocations in heteroepitaxial growths. Results show that misfit dislocations are easily imaged in bright-field TEM and STEM for silicon-germanium epitaxial growth. Since FIB tools are ubiquitous in semiconductor failure analysis labs today, the plan view method presented provides a quick to implement, fast, consistent, and straightforward method of generating samples for TEM analysis. While this technique has been optimized for near-surface defects, it can be used with any application requiring plan view TEM analysis.

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