Low voltage power MOSFETs often integrate voltage spike protection and gate oxide ESD protection. The basic concept of complete-static protection for the power MOSFETs is the prevention of static build-up where possible and the quick, reliable removal of existing charges. The power MOSFET gate is equivalent to a low voltage low leakage capacitor. The capacitor plates are formed primarily by the silicon gate and source metallization. The capacitor dielectric is the silicon oxide gate insulation. Smaller devices have less capacitance and require less charge per volt and are therefore more susceptible to ESD than larger MOSFETs. A FemtoFETTM is an ultra-small, low on-resistance MOSFET transistor for space-constrained handheld applications, such as smartphones and tablets. An ESD event, for example, between a fingertip and the communication-port connectors of a cell phone or tablet may cause permanent system damage. Through electrical characterization and global isolation by active photon emission, the authors identify and distinguish ESD failures. Thermographic analysis provided additional insight enabling further separation of ESD failmodes. This paper emphasizes the role of failure analysis in new product development from the create phase through to product ramp. Coupled with device electrical simulation, the analysis observations led to further design enhancement.

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