Scanning Electron Microscopy


Voltages at various levels have been measured on unpassivated aluminum lines in an integrated circuit (IC) test structure with widths and spacings ranging from 1.5 μm to 8 μm. For the measurements a pulsed electron beam (e-beam) system with 1 keV electrons was used in conjunction with a planar retarding field analyzer. Examination of the results shows that the voltage measurement accuracy is affected by local fields created by the potential differences between neighboring conductors on the IC. They also reveal how these fields and measurement errors are related to the conductor line width and spacing, the supply voltage level and the strength of the extraction field above the circuit.

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