Abstract

Massively parallel test structures, based on looking for shorts between certain design elements in the SRAM cells, are becoming increasingly relied upon in yield characterization. The localization of electrical shorts in these structures has posed significant challenges in advanced technology nodes, due to the size, and design complexity. Several of the traditional methods (nanoprobing, OBIRCH, etc.) are shown to be inadequate to find defects in SRAM cells, either due to resolution, or time required. In recent years, the Electron Beam Induced Resistance Change (EBIRCH) technique has increasingly been utilized for failure analysis. Combining EBIRCH with other techniques, such as SEM based nanoprobing system and PVC, allows not only direct electrical characterization of suspicious bridging sites but also allows engineers to pinpoint the exact location of defects with SEM resolution. This paper will demonstrate the several cases where SRAM-like test structures provided extreme challenges, and EBIRCH was the key technique towards finding the fail. A node to node, node to wordline, and ground-ground contact fails are presented. A combination of EBIRCH with the more traditional techniques in advanced technology node is key to timely and accurate determination of shorting mechanisms in our test structures.

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