AFM-in-SEM approach in semiconductor manufacturing, failure analysis, research, and development.

Delayering of integrated circuit

Due to miniaturization, failure analysis of advanced integrated circuits is possible only by local-focused ion beam (FIB) delayering. Planarity and roughness of delayered surfaces need to be evaluated.

LiteScope benefits:

  • Precise identification of a particular layer, excellent planarity of FIB milled structures with minimal sample damage.
  • 3D reconstruction: in-situ assessment of topography and roughness of milled structure.

Imaging of threading dislocations in GaN/AlN/Si films

Gallium Nitride (GaN) is a very promising material for electronic and optoelectronic applications, however, a variety of dislocations can occur at the different material interface, which leads to low-quality films.

LiteScope benefits:

  • Various defects can be localized and characterized only by CPEM view, combining AFM, SEM, and EBIC (Electron Beam Induced Current).
  • CPEM allows for a direct comparison between surface topography, electrical activity, and sample surface chemistry.
Published with courtesy: Roman Gröger, IPM CAS, Czechia

Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) nanowires

Semiconductor nanowires are becoming increasingly important due to their novel electronic, photonic, thermal, electrochemical, and mechanical properties. GaAs nanowires have been explored for a myriad of possible devices including, transistors, photo-detectors, LED, solar cells, and nanolaser devices. The optimization of the GaAs nanowires synthesis is crucial to obtain the expected characterizations. Efficient quality control and complex analysis of the nanowires is facilitated by the AFM-in-SEM correlative microscopy.

LiteScope benefits:

  • Fast and accurate localization of a single nanowire.
  • Complex characterization of structures and composition of a single nanowire using SEM material contrast and AFM 3D profiling.
Published with courtesy: David Fuster, Andrés Raya, Álvaro San Paulo and María Ujue González, CNM, CSIC Madrid, Spain

Surface modification of Cadmium Telluride

Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) is a semiconductor with a wide range of applications extending from gamma or x-ray detectors to solar cells. Due to the heterogeneity of the CdTe compound, the planarity of the focused ion beam (FIB) etched structures is uneven and requires FIB milling process optimization.

LiteScope benefits:

  • Surface modification using FIB/GIS techniques can be performed directly on a tilted LiteScope inside SEM, which is crucial for sensitive samples prone to oxidation.
  • Immediate assessment of the modified surface profile and process quality control.
  • FIB milling process optimization by sputtering rate and roughness estimation.
Published with courtesy: Ondrej Sik and Martin Konecny, CEITEC BUT, Czechia