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Raman Chemical Imaging of Microcrystallinity in Silicon Semiconductor Devices

Volume 55, Number 3 (March 2001) Page 257-266

Schaeberle, Michael D.; Tuschel, David D.; Treado, Patrick J.

Silicon integrated circuits are fabricated by the creation of complex layered structures. The complexity of these structures provides many opportunities for impurities, improperly annealed dopants, and stress effects to cause device contamination and failure. Nondestructive metrology techniques that rapidly and noninvasively screen for defects and relate silicon device structure to device performance are of value. We describe the first use of a liquid crystal tunable filter (LCTF) Raman chemical imaging microscope to assess the crystallinity of silicon semiconductor integrated circuits in a rapid and nondestructive manner without the need for sample preparation. The instrument has demonstrated lateral spatial resolving power of better than 250 nm and is equipped with a tunable imaging spectrometer having a spectral bandpass of 7.6 cm-1. The instrument rapidly produces high-definition Raman images where each image pixel contains a high-quality Raman spectrum. When combined with powerful processing strategies, the Raman chemical imaging system has demonstrated spectral resolving power of 0.03 cm-1 in a test silicon semiconductor wafer fabricated by using ion implantation. In addition, we have applied Raman chemical imaging for volumetric Raman imaging by analyzing the surface distribution of polycrystalline thin film structures. The approaches described here for the first time are generally applicable to the nondestructive metrology of silicon and compound semiconductor devices.