Focused Ion Beam Milling Technique for Plan-View TEM Sampling of DRAM Capacitor
Figure 1-(a) shows the vertical TEM result of two bits failure caused by DRAM storage node’s bending. In the conventional plan-view TEM sampling process, the target height for plan-view TEM sampling is marked with ‘l’ shape marker  after realizing the height of node bridge as shown in figure 1-(b). It is important to know the end point during FIB milling . And then, the top (red area) and bottom (yellow area) parts are removed to get the plan-view TEM sample. Figure 1-(c) is a TEM image after this plan-view TEM sampling process. The nodes do not stand in a line as you see in figure 1-(c). The nodes seem to move during the 3rd step milling (mill a bottom part) because of the void between nodes. The node may fall off a TEM thin foil sample in the worst case. In order to overcome this problem, we add a carbon deposition step right after the 2nd step of the top part milling as shown in figure 2-(a). As a result, we are able to get a plan-view TEM image where the nodes stand in a line as shown in figure 2-(b). Four major steps are,
Step 1 : ‘1’ shape marking at the target height
Step 2 : milling a top part of capacitor
Step 3 : carbon deposition to fill the space between nodes
Step 4 : milling a bottom part of capacitor
We adopted this modified milling method to the TEM sampling of a real failure case and obtained a PFA result of a 2 bit failure using plan-view TEM image as shown in figure 2-(c). The new modified milling method turned out to be very effective and can be adopted in a mass production.
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