Strain characterization via Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy in micro- and nano- Electronic Strain-engineered Systems and devices (STRESS)
Strain at the nanoscale is one of the critical parameters affecting physical properties (i.e., electric or mechanical) of microelectronic devices. While uncontrolled strain can be detrimental as it may dramatically modify devices conductibility, engineered strain can be used to tune electric properties of semiconductors to overcome the limits of standard technologies in terms of miniaturization. The availability of nondestructive analytical techniques to characterize local strain at the nanoscale and to map strain field in larger areas is required, which should be integrated in industrial production lines. Electron microscopy represents a well-established tool for strain analysis in microelectronic devices, but it is destructive, not easily used on large areas, and difficult to be really integrated in industrial production lines. Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) is a promising technique for nondestructive characterization of strain in semiconductors, which we recently demonstrated on a real 3D semiconductor device made via a standard industrial process. Validation of accurate and reliable TERS-based methods, requires the optimization of the experimental parameters and comprehensive approaches for data analysis. The present project STRESS, the first step of a project submitted to the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (Call H2020-NMBP-2016-2017, proposal: 760888 - SINAPSI), positively evaluated at the first step with a score of 9.5/10 and also at the second step with a score of 13/15 (threshold:12) but not funded, aims at developing, validating, optimizing, and consolidating a TERS-based methodology for the characterization of strain in real 3D microelectronic devices ready for the integration in production line. Taking advantage of the industrial and academic partnership, TERS will be developed on two different experimental setups and validated with standard electron microscopy based approaches using real industrially produced 3D microelectronic devices.