Xavier Saura, Michele Riccio, Giuseppe De Falco, Jordi Suñé, Andrea Irace, Enrique Miranda

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Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) large area (>10-4 cm2) capacitors with different aspect ratios were subjected to severe stress conditions (Eox>4-5 MV/cm) with the objective of generating a large density of breakdown spots (from 105 to 106spots/cm2) in the same device. The resulting mark pattern on the top metal electrode associated with the failure events wasanalyzed first using conventional functional estimators for two-dimensional spatial statistics. Second, as a double check, the attention was focused on the same breakdown spot patterns but in relation to the probe point location. In this latter case, the objective was to ruled outany stochastic dependence of the breakdown spot distributionon the position of the source of degradation and therefore to confirm whether or not the spots follow a complete spatial randomness (CSR) process. In order to simplify the mathematical treatmentof the point-to-event distributions, the voltage probe was assumed to be located at one corner of the observation window which significantlyreduces the number of cases to analyze. Infrarred images revealed that the generation of the spots is associated with micro-explosions within the insulating material and with the local volatilization of the top metal electrode.

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