Browse Prior Art Database

ESD TELLTALES

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000027038D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 110K

Publishing Venue

Xerox Disclosure Journal

Abstract

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can be a significant cause of device failures at many stages of integrated circuit (IC) or chip fabrication. It is insidious in the sense that it occurs without being perceived by an operator since evidence that conclusively proves ESD to be the cause of failure in a specific chip can be very difficult to find. For example, visible damage may not be apparent and even when it is, damage may be in the form of a 5 micron melt crater, which is difficult to find in chips with areas of 40,000 square microns (such areas occur in thermal ink jet printhead chips). Thus, while ESD may be suspected to be the cause of a failure, it may be difficult to positively assign the failure to ESD. However, it is important to be able to determine if ESD was the cause of failure to distinguish ESD failure from chi fabrication and design failures.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 53% of the total text.

Page 1 of 2

XEROX DISCLOSURE JOURNAL

ESD TELLTALES Donald J. Drake William G. Hawkins Frederick A. Donahue

Proposed Classification
U.S. C1.437/052 Int. C1. HOll21/70

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) can be a significant cause of device failures at many stages of integrated circuit (IC) or chip fabrication. It is insidious in the sense that it occurs without being perceived by an operator since evidence that conclusively proves ESD to be the cause of failure in a specific chip can be very difficult to find. For example, visible damage may not be apparent and even when it is, damage may be in the form of a 5 micron melt crater, which is difficult to find in chips with areas of 40,000 square microns (such areas occur in thermal ink jet printhead chips). Thus, while ESD may be suspected to be the cause of a failure, it may be difficult to positively assign the failure to ESD. However, it is important to be able to determine if ESD was the cause of failure to distinguish ESD failure from chi fabrication and design failures.

look for logic design problems or photolithographic causes.

To detect ESD failures, a circuit element is proposed that is susceptible to ESD damage and which provides conclusive evidence that the large potentials (e.g. 5OV-20,000 volts) associated with ESD have been encountered. A simple proposed structure is a large capacitor with a fuse link of polysilicon separated from the chip ground by a thin oxide with a tailored breakdown potential. If the breakdown potential is exceeded, the ensuing current melts the thin fusable link, thus providing physical evidence that the chip ex erienced a

causing chip device damage are typically much higher than voltages commonly encountered on most chips, accurate detection of ESD damage is likely.

Less ca...