As semiconductor technology keeps scaling down, failure analysis and device characterizations become more and more challenging. Global fault isolation without detailed circuit information comprises the majority of foundry EFA cases. Certain suspected areas can be isolated, but further narrow-down of transistor and device performance is very important with regards to process monitoring and failure analysis. A nanoprobing methodology is widely applied in advanced failure analysis, especially during device level electrical characterization. It is useful to verify device performance and to prove the problematic structure electrically, especially for implantation related problems [1] [2]. Implantation related defects, or invisible defects, are the most challenging defect types for the application of fault isolation in all of the failure analysis jobs. The key challenge for these kinds of analyses is to make the defect visible. Sometimes, it is difficult or even impossible to visualize the defective point. Then, sufficient electrical evidence and theory analysis are important to bring the issue to resolution. For these kinds of analyses, a nanoprobing system is a necessary tool to conduct the detailed analysis. Combined with the device physics and electrical theory analysis, nanoprobing can bring out the perfect failure mechanism and problematic process step. There are two popular nanoprobing systems in our lab, one is SEM based and the other is AFM based. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages in the electrical characterization and fault isolation field. In this paper, an implantation related issue was analyzed. Gross leakage was observed on the failed units as compared with good units. Global fault isolation, TIVA and EMMI failed to find the exclusive hotspot. With the GDS and process analysis, the nanoprobing was employed to the performance check on some of the suspected structures. Finally, the defective location was successfully isolated by nanoprobing. Combined with device physics and electrical analysis, the problematic process was successfully isolated.

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