HIGH SPEED, NON-CONTACT IC PROBES USING FLUORESCENT NANOPARTICLES
Original Publication Date: 2001-Oct-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Oct-12
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Silicon particles of nanometer scale dimensions are known to fluoresce brightly when excited by single UV or multiple IR photons. Being made of semiconductor material, it is possible that the fluorescence characteristics of these "nanoparticles" will be altered in the presence of electric (or magnetic) fields, in particular the strong micrometer scale fields encountered in RF power transistors and in very fine lithography ICs. In fact, a strong electric field dependence has been observed in the absorption of IR photons in certain semiconductors. This should translate directly to a change in fluorescent emission when multiple IR photons are used as the excitation source. The ability to measure very high speed waveforms would come from the ability to illuminate these nanoparticles with a sequence of very short (picosecond time scale) laser pulses, thus producing the optical equivalent of a sampling oscilloscope.