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An efficient, simple, and precise way to map strain with nanometer resolution in semiconductor devices
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View: Figures


Image of FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.

(a) Diagram illustrating the principle of DIH. A diffracted beam is selected using the objective aperture and dark-field images for at least three different planes of defocus are recorded. Lattice distortions (indicated by regions of different lattice constant A and B) lead to locally varying diffracting conditions and produce bright and dark features in places where the diffracting condition changes, as highlighted by the green circles in the inset. (b) Experimental dark-field inline holograms of a p-MOSFET structure. At the boundaries of regions of different lattice constant, i.e., SiGe (in the source and drain—see Fig. 2) and Si (in the substrate and also the gate channel), bright and dark bands (highlighted by red arrows) appear as illustrated in (a).

Image of FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.

Bright-field image of the 45 nm technology p-MOSFET structure of a commercial processor used for the work presented here. The individual transistor components are labeled. The thin TEM samples have been prepared conventionally, i.e., by cutting a thin slice from a commercial processor and mechanically grinding it using a tripod polisher (AlliedTech). The resulting wedge-shaped sample was then polished using a beam of argon ions accelerated at low voltages (500 V) while cooling the sample to liquid Nitrogen temperature (Fischione, Model 1010).

Image of FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.

(a) Geometric phase reconstructed from a focal series of 15 dark-field inline electron holograms for the (220) reflection. The defocus step fitted by the FULL-RESOLUTION WAVE RECONSTRUCTION software (Ref. 18) was . Above the phase map a bright-field image of the contacts is shown. (b) Map of the strain component extracted from the geometric phase map shown in (a). The gate channels are compressively strained. As in (a), a bright-field image showing the electrical contacts is shown above the strain map. The inset shows a pixel HRTEM image recorded with the largest possible field of view to still allow applying GPA. (c) Vertical strain profiles extracted from the narrow boxes in the map shown in (b). The color of each plot corresponds to the color of the dot in (b) defining the line profile’s origin. The profiles have been averaged across the width of the 11.7 nm (20 pixels) wide boxes shown in (b).


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Scitation: An efficient, simple, and precise way to map strain with nanometer resolution in semiconductor devices