Heart of the Matter: Scanning scope digs deeper into microchips | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


News

Heart of the Matter: Scanning scope digs deeper into microchips

By
10:02am, October 5, 2005

Princesses may feel peas under huge stacks of mattresses, but semiconductor manufacturers have a much harder time detecting minuscule defects within the crystalline layers of their microchips. So, they have difficulty determining when something goes wrong in the manufacturing process. Now, researchers have developed a noninvasive imaging technique that lets them see deep inside a chip.

Scanning-probe microscopy, a family of techniques that can portray surfaces in exquisite detail, is routinely used for analyzing chip materials. But defects that are buried more than 5 to 10 nanometers below the surface are "pretty much impossible to see," says Vin

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content