Abstract

Conventional mechanical sample preparation is a difficult and uncontrolled process that does not allow targeting of a specific depth or layer. Because of the difficulties presented by mechanical sample preparation, there has been an emergence of beam-based techniques for device delayering applications. Cross-sectioning is another commonly used technique used in microelectronics industry investigations; when combined with delayering, one can gain complete knowledge about a device's faults. This paper presents a development in semiconductor device investigation using low energy, broad-beam argon ion milling. The results highlight that broad-beam Ar ion milling produces excellent surface quality, which allows high resolution scanning electron microscope observation and energy dispersive spectrometry analyses, even at low energy.

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