The paper reports the investigation on the root cause of source-drain leakage in bulk FinFET devices. While the failing device was readily isolated by nanoprobing technique and the electrical analysis pinpointed the potential defect location inside the Fin channel, the identification of physical root cause went through extreme challenges imposed by the tiny-sized device and the unique FinFET 3D architecture. The initial TEM analysis was misled by the projection of a species in the lamella surface and thus could not explain the electrical data. Careful analysis on the device structure was able to identify the origin of the species and led to the discovery of the actual root cause. This paper will provide the analysis details leading to the findings, and highlight the role of electrical understanding in not only providing guidance for physical analysis but also revealing the true root cause of failure in FinFET devices.

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