Abstract

In this article, an analysis of a failure in the embedded SRAM in a CMOS Image Sensor is investigated. The failure was due to unformed CoSi2. Because unformed CoSi2 causes a varying degree of response, a nano-prober was used to find the abnormally operating transistors among a 1-bit SRAM cell consisting of six transistors(6T). After measuring and analyzing the current-voltage relationships between each transistor, the current magnitude of one pull-down transistor was found to be less than the expected range and particularly lower than that of a connected access transistor. To visualize the failure phenomenon and find the root cause of this, TEM analysis was conducted. Using the EELS (Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy) elemental mapping, unformed CoSi2 was detected between the contact and substrate, where the contact corresponds to the VSS of the pull-down transistor. This caused an increase in the contact resistance, thus lowering the current magnitude of the abnormal transistor to a greater degree than expected.

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