Subsurface analysis of semiconductor structures with helium ion microscopy

Raoul van Gastel, G. Hlawacek, Henricus J.W. Zandvliet, Bene Poelsema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We have used helium ion microscopy to directly track the subsurface diffusion of Pd through a Si stack in a non-invasive manner. The imaging and analysis of semiconductor structures along a direction perpendicular to the substrate is traditionally performed by making cross sections of a sample and viewing those at high magnification in a charged particle beam microscope. Two evident limitations of this approach are the destructive nature of the preparation procedure and the limited amount of information that can be obtained from a planar intersection of the structure. We demonstrate how backscattered helium can be used to monitor the lateral spreading of Pd that is used to create an electrical contact under a 114 nm oxide layer. This non-invasive direct imaging approach cannot only be used in conjunction with an in situ electrical characterization, it also visualizes the actual size and lateral extent of the contact, which is essential for enhancing the reliability of the final structure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2104-2109
Number of pages6
JournalMicroelectronics reliability
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Optics (see also 3311)Solid state physics (see also 2307)Niet in een andere rubriek onder te brengen
  • METIS-288994
  • IR-84697


Dive into the research topics of 'Subsurface analysis of semiconductor structures with helium ion microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this