Scanning Electron Microscopy


Voltage-contrast decay on passivated devices under electron beam probing has been reported. The dependence of the decay time constant of the voltage contrast on the primary electron current, the passivation thickness, and the dielectric constant of the passivation has been analyzed with a recently developed theory of capacitive-coupling voltage contrast. It is found that the theory can be used to estimate the time constant under various observation conditions. Deviation of the time constant from the prediction, depending on the size of the electron beam irradiated area, has been observed and interpreted as being due to secondary electron charging on the surface above the electrode area during electron irradiation of the surrounding surface.

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