Failure analysis (de‐processing) techniques are becoming more and more important in tackling integrated circuits (IC) process‐related problems. Particularly, failure analysis of ICs requires opening and de‐layering a chip in a layer by layer mode in order to find hidden defects. Selective chemical etching, reactive ion etching, plasma etching and chemical mechanical polishing or a combination of these techniques are traditionally used for de‐processing of IC. In this work a novel technique which is physical ion sputtering at glancing incidence angles allowing precise information about possible reasons of IC failures occurring at different steps of IC processing is proposed.

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