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A laboratory X-ray microscopy study of cracks in on-chip interconnect stacks of integrated circuits

: Kutukova, Kristina; Niese, Sven; Sander, Christoph; Standke, Yvonne; Gluch, Jürgen; Gall, Martin; Zschech, Ehrenfried


Applied Physics Letters 113 (2018), No.9, Art. 091901, 5 pp.
ISSN: 0003-6951 (Print)
ISSN: 1077-3118
ISSN: 1931-9401 (online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IKTS ()

Laboratory transmission X-ray microscopy with a spatial resolution of about 100 nm was used to image 3D interconnect structures and failures in microchips during mechanical loading, applied by a microDouble Cantilever Beam (micro-DCB) test. High-resolution 3D image sequences based on nano X-ray computed tomography (nano-XCT) are used to visualize crack opening and propagation in fully integrated multilevel on-chip interconnect structures of integrated circuits. The nondestructive investigation of sub-micron cracks during the in-situ micro-DCB test allows one to identify the weakest layers and interfaces, to image delamination along Cu/dielectric interfaces (adhesive failure) and fracture in dielectrics (cohesive failure), as well as to evaluate the robustness of Backend-of-Line stacks against process-induced thermomechanical stress.