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The National Bureau of Standards' was established by an act of Congress March 3, 1901. The Bureau's overall goal is to strengthen and advance the Nation's science and technology and facilitate their effective application for public benefit. To this end, the Bureau conducts research and provides: (1) a basis for the Nation's physical measurement system, (2) scientific and technological services for industry and government, (3) a technical basis for equity in trade, and (4) technical services to promote public safety. The Bureau consists of the Institute for Basic Standards, the Institute for Materials Research, the Institute for Applied Technology, the Institute for Computer Sciences and Technology, the Office for Information Programs, and the Office of Experimental Technology Incentives Program.

THE INSTITUTE FOR BASIC STANDARDS provides the central basis within the United States of a complete and consistent system of physical measurement; ordinates that system with measurement systems of other nations; and furnishes essential services leading to accurate and uniform physical measurements throughout the Nation's scientific community, industry, and commerce. The Institute consists of the Office of Measurement Services, and the following center and divisions:

Applied Mathematics Electricity Mechanics — Heat Optical Physics - Center for Radiation Research Laboratory Astrophysics? - Cryogenics Electromagnetics? — Time and Frequency'.

THE INSTITUTE FOR MATERIALS RESEARCH conducts materials research leading to improved methods of measurement, standards, and data on the properties of well-characterized materials needed by industry, commerce, educational institutions, and Government; provides advisory and research services to other Government agencies; and develops, produces, and distributes standard reference materials. The Institute consists of the Office of Standard Reference Materials, the Office of Air and Water Measurement, and the following divisions:

Analytical Chemistry Polymers Metallurgy – Inorganic Materials Reactor Radiation Physical Chemistry.

THE INSTITUTE FOR APPLIED TECHNOLOGY provides technical services developing and promoting the use of available technology; cooperates with public and private organizations in developing technological standards, codes, and test methods; and provides technical advice services, and information to Government agencies and the public. The Institute consists of the following divisions and centers:

Standards Application and Analysis Electronic Technology Center for Consumer Product Technology: Product Systems Analysis; Product Engineering — Center for Building Technology: Structures, Materials, and Safety; Building Environment; Technical Evaluation and Application Center for Fire Research: Fire Science; Fire Safety Engineering.

THE INSTITUTE FOR COMPUTER SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY conducts research and provides technical services designed to aid Government agencies in improving cost effectiveness in the conduct of their programs through the selection, acquisition, and effective utilization of automatic data processing equipment; and serves as the principal focus wthin the executive branch for the development of Federal standards for automatic data processing equipment, techniques, and computer languages. The Institute consist of the following divisions:

Computer Services Systems and Software Computer Systems Engineering Information Technology. THE OFFICE OF EXPERIMENTAL TECHNOLOGY INCENTIVES PROGRAM seeks to affect public policy and process to facilitate technological change in the private sector by examining and experimenting with Government policies and practices in order to identify and remove Government-related barriers and to correct inherent market imperfections that impede the innovation process. THE OFFICE FOR INFORMATION PROGRAMS promotes optimum dissemination and accessibility of scientific information generated within NBS; promotes the development of the National Standard Reference Data System and a system of information analysis centers dealing with the broader aspects of the National Measurement System; provides appropriate services to ensure that the NBS staff has optimum accessibility to the scientific information of the world. The Office consists of the following organizational units:

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1 Headquarters and Laboratories at Gaithersburg, Maryland, unless otherwise noted; mailing address Washington, D.C. 20234. Located at Boulder, Colorado 80302.

Semiconductor Measurement Technology:
Techniques for Measuring the Integrity
of Passivation Overcoats on Integrated Circuits

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, Juanita M. Kreps, Secretary

Dr. Betsy Ancker-Johnson, Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS, Ernest Ambler, Acting Director

Issued March 1977


Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Kern, Werner, 1925-

Techniques for measuring the integrity of passivation overcoats on
integrated circuits.

(Semiconductor measurement technology) (National Bureau of Standards special publication ;400-31)

Supt. of Docs. no.: C 13.10:400-31.

1. Integrated circuits --Passivation. 2. Protective
coatings - Testing. 3. Microelectronics--Quality control. I.
Comizzoli, Robert B., joint author. II. Title. III. Series. IV.
Series: United States. National Bureau of Standards.
Special publication ; 400-31. QC100.U57 no. 400-31 (TK7874)
602’.1s (621.381'73]


National Bureau of Standards Special Publication 400-31 Nat. Bur. Stand. (U.S.), Spec. Publ. 400-31, 120 pages (Mar. 1977)




For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office

Washington, D.C. 20402 - Price $1.90

Stock No. 003-003-01753-1


This Final Report describes work performed from April 24, 1975 to April 30, 1976 in the Process and Applied Materials Research Laboratory of RCA Laboratories, Princeton, NJ, under Contract No. NBS5-35913. Paul Rappaport is the Laboratory Director, George L. Schnable is the Project Supervisor and Group Head, and Werner Kern, Member of the Technical Staff, is the Project Scientist. Additional members of the research team are Robert B. Comizzoli, Member of the Technical Staff; Edward C. Tracy, Research Associate; Ruth E. Allen and Robert D. Vibronek, Research Technicians.

The contract has been administered under Richard L. Raybold, Government Project Monitor, National Bureau of Standards, Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. Thomas F. Leedy has been Assistant to the Government Project Monitor.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the help of a number of individuals who have contributed to this work by the performance of specific research tasks, several analytical techniques, and sample preparation:

E. C. Tracy photomicrography, chemical etching, and uv fluorescence studies; R. E. Allen - electrical technology and photoresisting; R. D. Vibronek and A. W. Fisher - film deposition technology; B. J. Seabury - scanning electron microscopy; and G. R. Authprofilometric measurements.

The authors wish to acknowledge especially the many fruitful discussions throughout the project with George L. Schnable, and his helpful comments and suggestions. We also acknowledge assistance by, and helpful discussions with, M. Blumenfeld, L. Greenberg, E. Jordan, W. Lawrence, and G. S. Lozier.

In some cases, for the sake of completeness or to provide desirable background information, this report contains results generated during RCA-supported research programs related to thin-film dielectrics, analytical method development, silicon device failure mechanisms and device processing.

It should be pointed out that most of the ICs shown are not standard products but were specially processed by CVD techniques and/or heat treatments to generate high densities of defects for the purpose of testing and demonstration of the analytical techniques.

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