High-Resolution Elemental Mapping

High-Resolution Elemental Mapping

Elemental mapping has an extremely broad span of applications in the semiconductor industry ranging from microstructures and nanostructures on the transistor and IC level through macrostructures such as the BGA composition. Chemicals or Elements are the fundamental building blocks of all things and therefore the correct materials as well as the correct concentration of materials are critical in the reliability of a device or system.

Sage Analytical Laboratories can provide extremely accurate compositional and elemental analysis through the use of our state of the art EDS/EDX/XEDS systems. Where the optical microscope, X-Ray analysis, or scanning electron microscope (SEM) may not provide the information necessary to draw conclusions from a study, elemental mapping has the ability to provide another level of detail that is required to explain many types of failure.

Specifically, elemental mapping is a process by which the software, in conjunction with the hardware, collects x-ray emission data over an area that corresponds with an image from the SEM. From this image, a ‘map’ of the elements present can be generated based on a two dimensional coordinate system.

Elemental mapping can also be used to tell where more subtle device level defects reside, causing low level leakages or opens in a device. As stated before, it is possible that other forms of analysis such as optical microscopes, X-Ray analysis, or a SEM may not provide the information necessary to draw conclusions with respect to your failure mechanism.

One benefit of this technique as a characterization method is where relative concentrations can be calculated based on the data collected from these maps and spectra. These relative concentrations can be calculated in terms of weight percent or atomic percent and can be used to determine if your process is within specifications and running as expected. These quantifications can be output to verify if your alloys, or diffusion regions are within your expected values.