Elemental Identification in Semiconductor Microchips Materials

The electrically conductive ceramic material tungsten silicide is used in microelectronics such as microchips. Tungsten silicide may also occur as a refractory phase in semiconductor materials, such as Si wafers. 

In order to achieve a high spatial resolution on the micro- and nano level during quality control, the analyses have to be carried out at low accelerating voltages, complicating the identification of these phases. Only the tungsten M series energy lines which severely overlap with the substrate Si Kα line are generated at low accelerating voltages. 

The resulting EDS peaks of the primary elements are slightly broadened and masking the presence of the second phase. In contrast to that, elements such as W are identified with confidence using QUANTAX WDS due to its superior spectral resolution.

X-ray element distribution map for Si and W acquired on an electronic microchip of an SDD
X-ray spectrum section for tungsten silicide in the energy region of 1.6 - 2.0 keV showing the high spectral resolution of WDS