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Liquid Crystal and Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging (FMI)

Liquid crystal and Fluorescent Microthermal Imaging (FMI) are efficient techniques of optical analysis used to detect and localize certain integrated circuit (IC) failures. They are both non-invasive techniques performed from either the front or back of devices.


Pulse waveform applied to chip showing local heating due to short circuit

Leakage current in semiconductor devices is likely to cause local heating along the current path. By coating the device surface with a material sensitive to temperature changes, one can detect the location of the hot spot. Liquid crystals change phase at a given temperature. By bringing the device very close to this transition temperature using a hot chuck, one can detect very small local heating. FMI relies on the temperature dependence of the fluorescent yield of an europium compound. It is harder to use than liquid crystal but it can give very quantitative results.

Liquid crystal and FMI are powerful early-stage failure analysis techniques since they localize failures non-invasively.

FMI map of the heat distribution caused by a short circuit in a flip chip device.  The wafer was thinned to 20um for this measurement. The distortions in the isotherms are due to the local heat-sinking effects of the flip chip bumps.
FMI map of the heat distribution caused by a short circuit in a flip chip device. The wafer was thinned to 20um for this measurement. The distortions in the isotherms are due to the local heat-sinking effects of the flip chip bumps.

Typical applications

Detection of:

Equipment

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