Quantitative thermal probing of devices at sub-100 nm resolution

Li Shi, Ohmyoung Kwon, Guanghua Wu, Arunava Majumdar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Localized Joule heating in submicron features affects reliability of VLSI devices. This paper reports the use of batch-fabricated probes for scanning thermal microscopy (SThM) to characterize self-heating in miniaturized devices. The spatial resolution of the SThM technique is found to be about 70 nm. Existence of a liquid film bridging the tip and sample during scanning is verified and the thermal contact conductance of the liquid bridge is found to be significant. The thermal design of the probe was optimized in previous work and its thermal performance is now characterized. We apply the SThM technique for mapping temperature distribution on VLSI via structures under DC current heating. Excellent agreement was found between the results obtained from the SThM technique and that from a resistive thermometry method. This paper also demonstrates a novel phase imaging technique for locating subsurface hot spots. The subsurface imaging technique has the potential to be used for detecting defects in multilevel interconnects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-398
Number of pages5
JournalAnnual Proceedings - Reliability Physics (Symposium)
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event38th IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: 2000 Apr 102000 Apr 13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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