Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Capacitive charge generation apparatus and method for testing circuits

United States Patent

5,781,017
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.