This paper explains how to localize metal-to-metal short failures in DRAM using mechanical grinding, plasma FIB delayering, and electron beam induced resistance change (EBIRCH) analysis. Experiments show that the slope created during grinding is compensated by PFIB delayering, producing a high-quality planar surface in the target layer and site. Target layers can thus be prepared at any location (site-free), likewise, defective areas can be delayered to any depth without damage (layer-free). After delayering, exposed surfaces are generally flat enough to allow an electron beam to evenly penetrate the device for precise EBIRCH analysis. With the use of more advanced device preparation methods, EBIRCH analysis has a higher chance of successfully localizing metal line/via shorts even in large regions that include the aluminum layer.

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