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Capacitive charge generation apparatus and method for testing circuits

United States Patent

July 14, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An electron beam apparatus and method for testing a circuit. The electron beam apparatus comprises an electron beam incident on an outer surface of an insulating layer overlying one or more electrical conductors of the circuit for generating a time varying or alternating current electrical potential on the surface; and a measurement unit connected to the circuit for measuring an electrical signal capacitively coupled to the electrical conductors to identify and map a conduction state of each of the electrical conductors, with or without an electrical bias signal being applied to the circuit. The electron beam apparatus can further include a secondary electron detector for forming a secondary electron image for registration with a map of the conduction state of the electrical conductors. The apparatus and method are useful for failure analysis or qualification testing to determine the presence of any open-circuits or short-circuits, and to verify the continuity or integrity of electrical conductors buried below an insulating layer thickness of 1-100 .mu.m or more without damaging or breaking down the insulating layer. The types of electrical circuits that can be tested include integrated circuits, multi-chip modules, printed circuit boards and flexible printed circuits.
Cole, Jr.; Edward I. (Albuquerque, NM), Peterson; Kenneth A. (Albuquerque, NM), Barton; Daniel L. (Albuquerque, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
08/ 638,519
April 26, 1996
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC0494AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.