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Troubleshooting semiconductor device failure is critical for improving manufacturing yield, reducing costs, and minimizing overall end-of-line test failures. However, isolating faults and defects (e.g. opens, metal shorts, and leakages) in the failure analysis workflow is becoming more challenging due to increasingly complex semiconductor designs.

Optical fault isolation (OFI) is a type of electrical failure analysis that makes use of a variety of optical techniques (photon-emission, static laser stimulation, etc.) to detect the causes of device failure.

This can include both static and dynamic OFI:

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Static OFI techniquesDynamic OFI techniques
Optical beam Induced resistance change (OBIRCH)Laser voltage imaging (LVI)
Optical beam induced current (OBIC)Laser Voltage Probing (LVP)
Light induced voltage alteration (LIVA)Laser voltage tracing (LVT)
Thermally induced voltage alteration (TIVA)Laser-assisted device alteration (LADA)
Static photon emission (PEM)Soft defect localization (SDL)
 Dynamic photon emission (PEM)

Broadly, these techniques allow the user to analyze the performance of electrically active devices and locate critical defects that cause a device to fail.  Understanding these defects, and then eliminating them from the manufacturing process, is crucial if modern fabs are to operate at high yield and profitability.

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers a variety of optical fault isolation systems as part of the Meridian product line. This includes all of the above OFI techniques, encompassing systems for both photon emission and laser stimulation applications. The Meridian product line consists of cost-effective, high-sensitivity solutions for localizing electrical failures in semiconductor devices, and is especially powerful when combined with other analysis workflows and solutions from Thermo Fisher Scientific's portfolio. Click through to the appropriate product pages below for more information.

Semiconductor optical fault isolation workflow example





Semiconductor Pathfinding and Research

Advanced electron microscopy, focused ion beam, and associated analytical techniques for identifying viable solutions and design methods for the fabrication of high-performance semiconductor devices.


Yield Ramp and Metrology

We offer advanced analytical capabilities for defect analysis, metrology, and process control, designed to help increase productivity and improve yield across a range of semiconductor applications and devices.

Semiconductor Failure Analysis

Semiconductor Failure Analysis

Increasingly complex semiconductor device structures result in more places for failure-inducing defects to hide. Our next-generation workflows help you localize and characterize subtle electrical issues that affect yield, performance, and reliability.


Physical and Chemical Characterization

Ongoing consumer demand drives the creation of smaller, faster, and cheaper electronic devices. Their production relies on high-productivity instruments and workflows that image, analyze, and characterize a broad range of semiconductor and display devices.


ESD Semiconductor Qualification

Every electrostatic discharge (ESD) control plan is required to identify devices that are sensitive to ESD. We offer a complete suite of test systems to help with your device qualification requirements.

Power Semiconductor Device Analysis

Power Semiconductor Device Analysis

Power devices pose unique challenges for localizing faults, primarily as a result of power device architecture and layout. Our power device analysis tools and workflows quickly pinpoint fault locations at operating conditions and provide precise, high-throughput analysis for characterization of materials, interfaces and device structures.


Semiconductor Materials and Device Characterization

As semiconductor devices shrink and become more complex, new designs and structures are needed. High-productivity 3D analysis workflows can shorten device development time, maximize yield, and ensure that devices meet the future needs of the industry.

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Talos F200E TEM

  • High-quality (S)TEM imaging of semiconductor and microelectronic devices
  • Precise, high-speed chemical characterization with EDS
  • Dedicated semiconductor-related applications

Meridian S System

  • Fault Diagnostic with Active Probe Technology
  • Static laser stimulation (SLS / OBIRCH) and photon emission options
  • Supports both micro-probing and probe card device stimulation

Meridian WS-DP System

  • High-sensitivity, low-noise, low-voltage photon emission detection with broadband DBX or InGaAs camera systems
  • Multi-wavelength laser scanning microscope for scan chain analysis, frequency mapping, transistor probing and isolation of faults

Meridian 7 System

  • Dynamic Optical Fault Isolation for 10nm node and below
  • High resolution visible and Infrared light
  • High-yield sample preparation to 5μm widely available

Meridian IV System

  • High sensitivity extended-wavelength DBX photon emission detection
  • Standard InGaAs photon emission detection
  • Laser Scanning Microscope with multiple wavelength options

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Electron microscopy services for

To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.

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