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With semiconductor device dimension continuously scaling down and increasing complexity in integrated circuits, delayering techniques for reverse engineering is becoming increasingly challenging. The primary goal of delayering in semiconductor failure analysis is to successfully remove layers of material in order to locate and identify the area of interest. Several of the top-down delayering techniques include wet chemical etching, dry reactive ion etching, top-down parallel lapping (including chemical-mechanical polishing), ion beam milling and laser delayering techniques. This article discusses the general procedure, types, advantages, and disadvantages of each of these techniques. In this article, two types of different semiconductor die level backend of line technologies are presented: aluminum metallization and copper metallization.

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Huei Hao Yap, Zhi Jie Lau, Delayering Techniques: Dry/Wet Etch Deprocessing and Mechanical Top-Down Polishing, Microelectronics Failure Analysis: Desk Reference, 7th ed., Edited By Tejinder Gandhi, ASM International, 2019, p 379–390,

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