Conductive thin film residues often referred to as puddles could be challenging fails to detect. A large extant film with no distinct boundaries would make the task more challenging for a comparison between good and bad region. Advanced node 20nm and 14nm technologies mandate use of several conductive thin films in the front end of line processes, and hence a potential for high defects during initial product development stage. Use of other electrical characterization techniques in combination with scanning electron microscopy inspection will be a very powerful tool to detect the root cause affirmatively. Cross-sectional images are necessary to understand the root cause of the fails for corrective actions. This work uses three cases of power supply shorts as a platform to demonstrate the idea, demonstrating a few situations where traditional techniques might reach its limits while the authors depend on additional characterization tools to confidently detect and confirm fails.

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