Time-resolved photon emission

Last updated

Time-resolved photon emission (TRPE) is used to measure timing waveforms on semiconductor devices. TRPE measurements are performed on the back side of the semiconductor device. The substrate of the device-under-test (DUT) must first be thinned mechanically. The device is mounted on a movable X-Y stage in an enclosure which shields it from all sources of light. The DUT is connected to an active electrical stimulus. The stimulus pattern is continuously looped and a trigger signal is sent to the TRPE instrument in order to tell it when the pattern repeats. A TRPE prober operates in a manner similar to a sampling oscilloscope, and is used to perform semiconductor failure analysis.

Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the cause of a failure, often with the goal of determining corrective actions or liability. According to Bloch and Geitner, machinery failures reveal a reaction chain of cause and effect… usually a deficiency commonly referred to as the symptom…”. failure analysis can save money, lives, and resources if done correctly and acted upon. It is an important discipline in many branches of manufacturing industry, such as the electronics industry, where it is a vital tool used in the development of new products and for the improvement of existing products. The failure analysis process relies on collecting failed components for subsequent examination of the cause or causes of failure using a wide array of methods, especially microscopy and spectroscopy. Nondestructive testing (NDT) methods are valuable because the failed products are unaffected by analysis, so inspection sometimes starts using these methods.

Theory of operation

As the electrical stimulus pattern is repetitively applied to the DUT, internal transistors switch on and off. As pMOS and nMOS transistors switch on or off, they emit photons. These photons emissions are recorded by a sensitive photon detector. By counting the number of photons emitted for a specific transistor across a period of time, a photon histogram may be constructed. The photon histogram records an increase in photon emissions during times that the transistor switches on or off. By detecting the combined photon emissions of pairs p- and n-channel transistors contained in logic gates, it is possible to use the resulting histogram to determine the locations in time of the rising and falling edges of the signal at that node. The waveform produced is not representative of a true voltage waveform, but more accurately represents the derivative of the waveform, with photon spikes being seen only at rising or falling edges.

MOSFET transistor used for amplifying or switching electronic signals

The metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor is a type of field-effect transistor (FET), most commonly fabricated by the controlled oxidation of silicon. It has an insulated gate, whose voltage determines the conductivity of the device. This ability to change conductivity with the amount of applied voltage can be used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. A metal-insulator-semiconductor field-effect transistor or MISFET is a term almost synonymous with MOSFET. Another synonym is IGFET for insulated-gate field-effect transistor.

The photon is a type of elementary particle, the quantum of the electromagnetic field including electromagnetic radiation such as light, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force. The photon has zero rest mass and always moves at the speed of light within a vacuum.

Histogram graphical representation of the distribution of numerical data

A histogram is an accurate representation of the distribution of numerical data. It is an estimate of the probability distribution of a continuous variable and was first introduced by Karl Pearson. It differs from a bar graph, in the sense that a bar graph relates two variables, but a histogram relates only one. To construct a histogram, the first step is to "bin" the range of values—that is, divide the entire range of values into a series of intervals—and then count how many values fall into each interval. The bins are usually specified as consecutive, non-overlapping intervals of a variable. The bins (intervals) must be adjacent, and are often of equal size.

Related Research Articles

Transistor semiconductor device used to amplify and switch electronic signals and electrical power

A transistor is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and electrical power. It is composed of semiconductor material usually with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor's terminals controls the current through another pair of terminals. Because the controlled (output) power can be higher than the controlling (input) power, a transistor can amplify a signal. Today, some transistors are packaged individually, but many more are found embedded in integrated circuits.

Semiconductor devices are electronic components that exploit the electronic properties of semiconductor material, principally silicon, germanium, and gallium arsenide, as well as organic semiconductors. Semiconductor devices have replaced thermionic devices in most applications. They use electronic conduction in the solid state as opposed to the gaseous state or thermionic emission in a high vacuum.

Electromagnetic compatibility

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is the branch of electrical engineering concerned with the unintentional generation, propagation and reception of electromagnetic energy which may cause unwanted effects such as electromagnetic interference (EMI) or even physical damage in operational equipment. The goal of EMC is the correct operation of different equipment in a common electromagnetic environment.

Photodiode type of photodetector based on a p-n-junction

A photodiode is a semiconductor device that converts light into an electrical current. The current is generated when photons are absorbed in the photodiode. Photodiodes may contain optical filters, built-in lenses, and may have large or small surface areas. Photodiodes usually have a slower response time as their surface area increases. The common, traditional solar cell used to generate electric solar power is a large area photodiode.

An EPROM, or erasable programmable read-only memory, is a type of memory chip that retains its data when its power supply is switched off. Computer memory that can retrieve stored data after a power supply has been turned off and back on is called non-volatile. It is an array of floating-gate transistors individually programmed by an electronic device that supplies higher voltages than those normally used in digital circuits. Once programmed, an EPROM can be erased by exposing it to strong ultraviolet light source. EPROMs are easily recognizable by the transparent fused quartz window in the top of the package, through which the silicon chip is visible, and which permits exposure to ultraviolet light during erasing.

Pulse-width modulation modulation technique

Pulse-width modulation (PWM), or pulse-duration modulation (PDM), is a method of reducing the average power delivered by an electrical signal, by effectively chopping it up into discrete parts. The average value of voltage fed to the load is controlled by turning the switch between supply and load on and off at a fast rate. The longer the switch is on compared to the off periods, the higher the total power supplied to the load. Along with MPPT maximum power point tracking, it is one of the primary methods of reducing the output of solar panels to that which can be utilized by a battery. PWM is particularly suited for running inertial loads such as motors, which are not as easily affected by this discrete switching. Because they have inertia they react slower. The PWM switching frequency has to be high enough not to affect the load, which is to say that the resultant waveform perceived by the load must be as smooth as possible.

Insulated-gate bipolar transistor three-terminal power semiconductor device

An insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) is a three-terminal power semiconductor device primarily used as an electronic switch which, as it was developed, came to combine high efficiency and fast switching. It consists of four alternating layers (P-N-P-N) that are controlled by a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) gate structure without regenerative action. Although the structure of the IGBT is topologically the same as a thyristor with a 'MOS' gate, the thyristor action is completely suppressed and only the transistor action is permitted in the entire device operation range. It switches electric power in many applications: variable-frequency drives (VFDs), electric cars, trains, variable speed refrigerators, lamp ballasts, air-conditioners and even stereo systems with switching amplifiers.

This is an index of articles relating to electronics and electricity or natural electricity and things that run on electricity and things that use or conduct electricity.

Automatic test equipment apparatus used in Hardware testing

Automatic test equipment or automated test equipment (ATE) is any apparatus that performs tests on a device, known as the device under test (DUT), equipment under test (EUT) or unit under test (UUT), using automation to quickly perform measurements and evaluate the test results. An ATE can be a simple computer-controlled digital multimeter, or a complicated system containing dozens of complex test instruments capable of automatically testing and diagnosing faults in sophisticated electronic packaged parts or on wafer testing, including system on chips and integrated circuits.

Electronic component basic discrete device or physical entity in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields

An electronic component is any basic discrete device or physical entity in an electronic system used to affect electrons or their associated fields. Electronic components are mostly industrial products, available in a singular form and are not to be confused with electrical elements, which are conceptual abstractions representing idealized electronic components.

RF switch

An RF Switch or Microwave Switch is a device to route high frequency signals through transmission paths. RF and microwave switches are used extensively in microwave test systems for signal routing between instruments and devices under test (DUT). Incorporating a switch into a switch matrix system enables you to route signals from multiple instruments to single or multiple DUTs. This allows multiple tests to be performed with the same setup, eliminating the need for frequent connects and disconnects. The entire testing process can be automated, increasing the throughput in high-volume production environments.

Capacitance–voltage profiling is a technique for characterizing semiconductor materials and devices. The applied voltage is varied, and the capacitance is measured and plotted as a function of voltage. The technique uses a metal–semiconductor junction or a p–n junction or a MOSFET to create a depletion region, a region which is empty of conducting electrons and holes, but may contain ionized donors and electrically active defects or traps. The depletion region with its ionized charges inside behaves like a capacitor. By varying the voltage applied to the junction it is possible to vary the depletion width. The dependence of the depletion width upon the applied voltage provides information on the semiconductor's internal characteristics, such as its doping profile and electrically active defect densities., Measurements may be done at DC, or using both DC and a small-signal AC signal, or using a large-signal transient voltage.

Hot carrier injection (HCI) is a phenomenon in solid-state electronic devices where an electron or a “hole” gains sufficient kinetic energy to overcome a potential barrier necessary to break an interface state. The term "hot" refers to the effective temperature used to model carrier density, not to the overall temperature of the device. Since the charge carriers can become trapped in the gate dielectric of a MOS transistor, the switching characteristics of the transistor can be permanently changed. Hot-carrier injection is one of the mechanisms that adversely affects the reliability of semiconductors of solid-state devices.

Semiconductor curve tracer test equipment

A semiconductor curve tracer is a specialised piece of electronic test equipment used to analyze the characteristics of discrete semiconductor devices such as diodes, transistors, and thyristors. Based on an oscilloscope, the device also contains voltage and current sources that can be used to stimulate the device under test (DUT).

The laser voltage probe (LVP) is a laser-based voltage and timing waveform acquisition system which is used to perform failure analysis on flip-chip integrated circuits. The device to be analyzed is de-encapsulated in order to expose the silicon surface. The silicon substrate is thinned mechanically using a back side mechanical thinning tool. The thinned device is then mounted on a movable stage and connected to an electrical stimulus source. Signal measurements are performed through the back side of the device after substrate thinning has been performed. The device being probed must be electrically stimulated using a repeating test pattern, with a trigger pulse provided to the LVP as reference. The operation of the LVP is similar to that of a sampling oscilloscope.

The electron beam prober is a specialized adaption of a standard scanning electron microscope (SEM) that is used for semiconductor failure analysis. While a conventional SEM may be operated in a voltage range of 10–30 keV, the e-beam Prober typically operates at 1 keV. The e-beam prober is capable of measuring voltage and timing waveforms on internal semiconductor signal structures. Waveforms may be measured on metal line, polysilicon and diffusion structures that have an electrically active, changing signal. The operation of the prober is similar to that of a sampling oscilloscope. A continuously looping, repeating test pattern must be applied to the device-under-test (DUT). E-beam probers are used primarily for front side semiconductor analysis. With the advent of flip-chip technology, many e-beam probers have been replaced with back side analysis instruments.

Audio analyzer

An Audio Analyzer is a test and measurement instrument used to objectively quantify the audio performance of electronic and electro-acoustical devices. Audio quality metrics cover a wide variety of parameters, including level, gain, noise, harmonic and intermodulation distortion, frequency response, relative phase of signals, interchannel crosstalk, and more. In addition, many manufacturers have requirements for behavior and connectivity of audio devices that require specific tests and confirmations.

Transistor laser is a semiconductor device that functions as a transistor with an electrical output and an optical output as opposed to the typical two electrical outputs. This optical output separates it from typical transistors and, because optical signals travel faster than electrical signals, has the potential to speed up computing immensely. Researchers who discovered the transistor laser developed a new model of Kirchhoff's current law to better model the behavior of simultaneous optical and electrical output.

The field-effect transistor (FET) is an electronic device which uses an electric field to control the flow of current. This is achieved by the application of a voltage to the gate terminal, which in turn alters the conductivity between the drain and source terminals.


International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.