Microelectronic failure analysis: desk reference : 2001 by Electronic Device Failure Analysis Society

By Electronic Device Failure Analysis Society

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Sample text

The nitride oxide delineation is clear since the oxide was selectively attacked and recessed. Concluding Remarks The processes outlined above attempted to cover every detail, from start to finish, that one might encounter during the polishing of a specimen. It is expected that even with this knowledge, it will still take the novice some trial and error to get proficient. It should take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours to prepare a specimen prior to the time spent in the SEM. SEM mastery is an entirely different beast, where you can make or break all the effort spent in sample preparation.

The mounted 65 degree sample must be tilted on the microscope stage, causing clearance problems to the lenses as well as stability problems in keeping the area of interest within the field of view. An additional drawback to this technique is the sample re- mount time. Remounting the sample from 65 to 90 degrees requires repeating steps A through E above and can in itself take as long as the actual grinding time on the wheel. Pivoting Sample Holder Block Angled Cross Sectioning Sectioning at an angle is not a new concept4, 5, 6.

In order to produce a high quality SEM image using mechanical cross-sectioning techniques, one must employ a number of rough grinding and fine polishing steps, which can often be a lengthy and tedious process. Moreover, in the case where one is interested in securing an image of a specific defect or isolated structure, this procedure can be extremely difficult, depending on the size of said defect or structure, It is imperative that the analyst “time” his/her arrival at the point of interest so that it coincides with the final stages of the cross section.

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