Reverse Engineering of Compound Semiconductors

When information is required from a finished and packaged device, EAG Laboratories can depackage and deprocess the sample and then fully characterize it using various analytical techniques. Information that can be obtained includes:

  • sample structure
  • surface passivation layer presence (and thickness)
  • active region thickness
  • composition of the various layers
  • dopant type (P or N), concentration and depth distribution
  • composition (mole fraction) in ternary layers such as AlGaN or InGaN etc
  • contaminant type, level and depth distribution

Other specific questions can also be addressed. The exact analysis carried out and the equipment used will depend on the priorities of obtaining different types of information (thickness, composition, dopant level etc). The most commonly used techniques are SIMSSEM and TEM.

Reverse engineering compound semiconductor optolectronics , images of LED after polishing, depackaging, SIMS analysis
Reverse engineering compound semiconductor optolectronics - This example shows a SIMS depth profile of a blue LED device.

This example shows a SIMS depth profile of a blue LED device. SIMS showed the structure to be of the type: AlGaN/{InGaN/GaN}×3/AlGaN/InGaN/GaN, as seen from the Al and In profiles. The dopant (Mg and Si) distribution and concentration were also successfully measured.

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