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Thermal Imaging Microscope for Semiconductor Device Failure Analysis


Faults Detected

Functional and Uncomplicated

The innovative Sentris fault isolation process was developed by Optotherm to simplify and reduce the cost of the lock-in thermography process. Traditional lock-in thermography systems include complex function generators and power supplies in order to synchronize device power with the capture of thermal images. By eliminating the need for these complicated and expensive instruments, Sentris provides a straightforward and affordable technique to semiconductor defect isolation.

Advantages Over Liquid Crystal Thermography

Liquid crystal thermography has low sensitivity, slow response, and requires the surface of devices to be coated. These systems are limited to detecting hot spots greater than 0.1°C and because they involve steady-state device powering, the heat generated by faults diffuses through semiconductor material, blurring the location of the defect source. Sentris overcomes the limitations of liquid crystal thermography. No surface coating is required, and hot spots below 0.001°C can be detected. Furthermore, high-frequency lock-in thermography minimizes heat diffusion, enabling the precise location of faults.

Compliments Other FA Tools

Semiconductor devices are becoming smaller, faster, highly integrated, and multi-functional with the result that failures often cannot be found using only one analysis technique. It is often necessary to use multiple tools to pinpoint different types of faults. Sentris thermal emission analysis is often used in conjunction with photon emission and OBIRCH analysis. Photon emission is used primarily to analyze leakage current resulting from gate oxide defects, latch-ups and ESD failures. OBIRCH is most often used to detect leakage current, short circuits and areas of high resistance.


The price for a Sentris system (included Sentris components) is less than half the cost of competing cooled MWIR lock-in thermography systems. Optional components are available to extend Sentris features and capabilities (optional Sentris components).

Features and Capabilities

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