Applying Non-Destructive Analysis to Examine Devices

Advanced heterogenous integration and new integrated technologies require non-invasive and non-destructive imagine techniques. Semiconductors are everywhere and it is no longer possible to keep the functionality of an IC undamaged when it is decapsulated.

The universalization of sensor applications and the increasing trend towards More-than-Moore (MtM) has created a need to see what is going on inside pully packaged and encapsulated devices. With the increase in fabrication process complexity, the possibility to perform in situ/in operando 3D/2D radiographic investigations of systems as manufactured is still a major challenge for the semiconductor industry.

The Solution – Synchrotron X-Ray Tomography: for Non-Destructive Imaging

The only available technique to three-dimensionally visualize the interior structure of packaged devices non-destructively, is Synchrotron X-Ray tomography.

The European Synchrotron (ESRF) provides a very high intensity source and a highly coherent beam. It yields unmet spatial resolution and high penetration depth. It can be used for in situ and in operando characterization due to its unique ability to acquire images very quickly.

This is imperative in situations such as reliability investigations or the visualization of a MEMs during operation. Synchrotron X-ray tomography also provides the option for phase contrast imaging and this can provide much higher contrast information.

The Platform for Advanced Characterization – Grenoble (PAC-G) is the single entry point for the tomography services at ESRF in Grenoble.

The Results – What Can be Expected

At the ESRF, new synchrotron X-ray techniques provide unique capabilities for non-destructive imaging of advanced semiconductor devices. Fully packaged integrated circuits can be visualized with spatial resolutions up to 150 nm in a highly flexible characterization environment, using ESRF’s facilities. These unique features allow for the creation of 3D and 2D images of a device during operation.

Nano tomography is also available when a higher resolution is needed, for samples up to 400 mm. Thanks to advanced X-ray optics, which produce a high brilliance beam focused down to the nanometer scale, world record 23 nm spatial resolution can be achieved (with 10 nm pixel size) using this configuration.

Overcome Challenges with PAC-G

Slide image acquired from a packaged chip showing the interface between two dies. Copper pillars in white and defects (voids) as black dots can be observed. Image credit: Dr. A. Fraczkiewicz

Non-destructive radiography of a multilayer packaged device on a substrate with wire bonding. Image credit: Dr. A. Fraczkiewicz

Picture showing the reconstructed metal interconnections inside a flip chip.

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by The Platform for Advanced Characterisation Grenoble (PAC-G).

For more information on this source, please visit The Platform for Advanced Characterisation Grenoble (PAC-G).

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