Chip Check With Ultrasound

Chip check with ultrasound: Hidden defects in or on chips are hardly detected with the inspection methods used in semiconductor production. We are researching intelligent soft sensors for non-contact quality inspection of chips.

Ulrike Kleb


Hidden defects in chips are a challenge for the semiconductor industry. They can have unwelcome effects such as wasting resources and high costs on further production chains or consumers.

"Detecting these defects is not that easy: optical sensors only find anomalies on the surface, other methods often destroy chips and are not suitable for one hundred percent testing," explains statistician Ulrike Kleb from POLICIES, the Institute for Business and Innovation Research at JOANNEUM RESEARCH.


Testing by means of laser ultrasound technology

In the LUSI-Q project, Ulrike Kleb and a consortium consisting of the University of Graz, Infineon Technologies AG and Montfort Laser GmbH are researching an inspection using non-contact in-line sensor technology - laser ultrasound technology (LUS). The project is funded by the FFG as part of the "Production of the Future" programme.

"With laser ultrasound it is also possible to find and analyse anomalies and defects inside the chips. We then interpret the complex LUS signals with new methods of signal processing and statistical modelling," explains the Graz researcher.

In this way, production errors could be avoided in the future and valuable raw materials in semiconductor production could be saved.