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Application of cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy to thin-film-transistor failure analysis

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3 Author(s)
Tsuji, S. ; IBM Japan Ltd., Display Technology, Display Business Unit, 1623-14, Shimotsuruma, Yamato-shi, Kanagawaken 242, Japan ; Tsujimoto, K. ; Iwama, H.

The locations of process-induced defects in hydrogenated amorphous silicon thin-film transistors (a-Si:H TFTs), which are used as elements of active-matrix liquid crystal displays, were investigated by combining focused ion beam (FIB) techniques with cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (X-TEM). The FIB technique is applied to TFT failure-analysis problems which require very localized etching without inducing mechanical stress. We demonstrate how these techniques are used to characterize TFT defects such as thin layers formed from etching residue, microvoids in the multilayers, fragile aluminum whisker protrusions on the electrodes, or portions of the TFT multilayer damaged by mechanical stress.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 3.4 )