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Electron Microscopy Solutions
Electrical Failure Analysis

ELITE System for Semiconductors

Enhanced lock-in thermal emission

Defective or underperforming semiconductor devices often show an anomalous distribution of the local power dissipation, leading to local temperature increases. Thermo Scientific™ ELITE system utilizes Lock-in IR Thermography (LIT) to accurately and efficiently locate these areas of interest.

Lock-in Thermography (LIT) is a form of dynamic IR thermography which provides a much better signal-to-noise ratio, increased sensitivity and higher feature resolution than steady-state thermography. LIT can be used in IC analysis to locate line shorts, ESD defects, oxide damage, defective transistors and diodes, and device latch-ups. LIT is performed in a natural ambient environment without requiring light-shielding boxes.


  • The highest sensitivity thermal emission system available in the market
  • Real-time lock-in measurement
  • Differential temperature resolution of < 1mK after a few seconds; < 10 uK after a few hours
  • Contactless absolute temperature mapping
  • Through-package and stacked die analysis
  • Six position turret with custom lenses optimized for MWIR emission

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The ability to locate a thermal source in 3D makes the ELITE system well-suited for stacked-die analysis.

Stacked-die present a unique challenge to the analyst. Whether dealing with a bonded or TSV die stack, LIT may be used to locate defects in X, Y and Z deep within the die stack on fully packaged devices.

The higher the lock-in frequency, the higher the resulting spatial resolution. However, the higher frequency tends to reduce significantly the thermal emission to be detected. This is a limitation for many LIT systems. ELITE system overcomes this limitation by offering a unique system architecture in which higher frequency LIT data can be accumulated for an "unlimited" amount of time. Data resolution improves the longer data acquisition continues.

The longer the system acquires data, the better the sensitivity. This is particularly valuable when attempting to acquire data at very low power levels or when one must acquire data from a weak failure mode.

The ELITE system is available with either a single lens and camera configuration or with the flexibility of a 6-position turret.  A variety of custom, high-quality, MWIR microscope objectives are available including: 28mm wide angle, 1x, 5x, and 10x yield an effective magnification of 20x, coupled with the 15um pixel pitch of the 640 InSb camera.

Sensitivity varies with power level