Researchers at Sandia National Labs are using thermally induced voltage alteration (TIVA) and Seebeck-effect imaging for finding failures in integrated circuits. The technique allows inspection of both the front and back of integrated circuits. It uses the beam from an infrared laser that operates at wavelengths for which silicon is transparent. By heating only small portions of the integrated circuit, the researchers produce a voltage change that is biased with a current source. The reflected light image, which when registered with the TIVA image, allows identification of circuit flaws, according to developer Ed Cole. For more information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (505) 844-1421.
With a better understanding of materials’ response to load and temperature, researchers could potentially use the knowledge to improve design. The research could even help geologists studying plate tectonics.
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