A variety of parametric test structures were designed with the purpose of characterizing parameters tied to failure modes for specific structures, and the electrical test of the parametric test structures are typically conducted earlier inline, which could be months ahead of the functional test. Due to the unique advantages, conductive-atomic force microscopy (CAFM) was introduced to parametric test structure failure analysis during advanced technology development, and has been proven to be a powerful solution to many challenging failure analysis (FA) problems. This paper uses several case studies to illustrate how CAFM can be used to successfully localize defects in challenging parametric test structures that would otherwise be invisible with conventional FA techniques.

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