Abstract

Deprocessing and probing are two quintessential steps in the physical failure analysis (PFA) and competitive analysis of integrated circuits (ICs). Typically, these steps are accomplished using multiple tools, which include polishers, electron microscopes, and probers. To combat the aggressive back-end-of-line (BEOL) scaling which has significantly decreased the controllability of manual polishing, gas-assisted Xe plasma FIB has been employed to achieve large area uniform delayering. Combined with an in-situ probing capability within the plasma FIB, the iterative process of juggling between tools is streamlined into a seamless process. In this paper, the successful integration of Prober Shuttle and plasma FIB to isolate and visualize real defects on sub-20 nm microprocessor chips are presented.

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