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Thermally-induced voltage alteration for integrated circuit analysis

United States Patent

6,078,183
June 20, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
A thermally-induced voltage alteration (TIVA) apparatus and method are disclosed for analyzing an integrated circuit (IC) either from a device side of the IC or through the IC substrate to locate any open-circuit or short-circuit defects therein. The TIVA apparatus uses constant-current biasing of the IC while scanning a focused laser beam over electrical conductors (i.e. a patterned metallization) in the IC to produce localized heating of the conductors. This localized heating produces a thermoelectric potential due to the Seebeck effect in any conductors with open-circuit defects and a resistance change in any conductors with short-circuit defects, both of which alter the power demand by the IC and thereby change the voltage of a source or power supply providing the constant-current biasing. By measuring the change in the supply voltage and the position of the focused and scanned laser beam over time, any open-circuit or short-circuit defects in the IC can be located and imaged. The TIVA apparatus can be formed in part from a scanning optical microscope, and has applications for qualification testing or failure analysis of ICs.
Cole, Jr.; Edward I. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
09/ 034,546
March 3, 1998
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.