Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Apr-07
Xerox Disclosure Journal
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.