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In-situ SEM measurement of thermal behavior of a PMOS transistor

Semiconductor devices are typically designed to operate between 0 and 70 °C, which is considered the normal operating temperature range. Sometimes though, devices get to work at lower or higher temperatures. Away from the normal operating temperature range, devices may consume more power, leak current or crack due to the thermal expansion, and overall be less reliable in the long-term. Specific behavior of transistors at different temperatures can vary depending on the transistor technology, design, and the materials used. Testing thermal behavior of a given device is an important part of quality assurance and risk management.

We tested thermal behavior of a PMOS transistor of 180 nm technology node. The transistor has been delayered to contact level and loaded into TESCAN Clara SEM equipped with Imina technologies’ NANO system with a thermal stage. We analyzed how threshold voltage, drain current at saturation and off-current behave at -30, 75 and 150 °C.

At higher temperature, we observed a decrease in threshold voltage and current at saturation, and a decrease in off-current, which suggests higher leakage, which is what we expected.

With our thermal stage, such measurements can be done in-situ SEM, and the users can enjoy freedom of movement around the platform, and easy and precise probe landing of miBot nanoprobers while testing their samples at different temperatures.

Thermal stage is an optional module for Imina Technologies’ NANO 8-bot system. Existing setups can be upgraded with the thermal stage, as long as Precisio software is updated to the latest version that includes the thermal stage control module.

Read the full application note here.

Contact us if you are interested in our thermal stage, or if you would like to incorporate thermal sample analysis in the nanoprobing service.