Observation of three-dimensional elemental distributions of a Si device using a 360 degrees -tilt FIB and the cold field-emission STEM system.

Research paper by Toshie T Yaguchi, Mitsuru M Konno, Takeo T Kamino, Masashi M Watanabe

Indexed on: 22 Aug '08Published on: 22 Aug '08Published in: Ultramicroscopy


A technique for preparation of a pillar-shaped specimen and its multidirectional observation using a combination of a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) and a focused ion beam (FIB) instrument has been developed. The system employs an FIB/STEM compatible holder with a specially designed tilt mechanism, which allows the specimen to be tilted through 360 degrees [T. Yaguchi, M. Konno, T. Kamino, T. Hashimoto, T. Ohnishi, K. Umemura, K. Asayama, Microsc. Microanal. 9 (Suppl. 2) (2003) 118; T. Yaguchi, M. Konno, T. Kamino, T. Hashimoto, T. Ohnishi, M. Watanabe, Microsc. Microanal. 10 (Suppl. 2) (2004) 1030]. This technique was applied to obtain the three-dimensional (3D) elemental distributions around a contact plug of a Si device used in a 90-nm technology. A specimen containing only one contact plug was prepared in the shape of a pillar with a diameter of 200nm and a length of 5mum. Elemental maps were obtained from the pillar specimen using a 200-kV cold-field emission gun (FEG) STEM model HD-2300C equipped with the EDAX genesis X-ray energy-dispersive spectrometry (XEDS) system through a spectrum imaging technique. In this study, elemental distributions of minor elements with weak signals were enhanced by applying principal component analysis (PCA), which is a superior technique to extract weak signals from a large dataset. The distributions of elements, especially the metallization component Ti and minor dopant As in this particular device, were successfully extracted by PCA. Finally, the 3D elemental distributions around the contact plug could be visualized by reconstruction from the tilt series of maps.