Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering


3D IC, Contactless, Coupling, Fabrication, Test, Through-Silicon Via


Rashidzadeh, Rashid


Abdel-Raheem, Esam




3D IC integration presents many advantages over the current 2D IC integration. It has the potential to reduce the power consumption and the physical size while supporting higher bandwidth and processing speed. Through Silicon Via’s (TSVs) are vertical interconnects between different layers of 3D ICs with a typical 5μm diameter and 50μm length. To test a 3D IC, an access mechanism is needed to apply test vectors to TSVs and observe their responses. However, TSVs are too small for access by current wafer probes and direct TSV probing may affect their physical integrity. In addition, the probe needles for direct TSV probing must be cleaned or replaced frequently. Contactless probing method resolves most of the TSV probing problems and can be employed for small-pitch TSVs. In this dissertation, contactless test access mechanisms for 3D IC have been explored using capacitive and inductive coupling techniques. Circuit models for capacitive and inductive communication links are extracted using 3D full-wave simulations and then circuit level simulations are carried out using Advanced Design System (ADS) design environment to verify the results. The effects of cross-talk and misalignment on the communication link have been investigated. A contactless TSV probing method using capacitive coupling is proposed and simulated. A prototype was fabricated using TSMC 65nm CMOS technology to verify the proposed method. The measurement results on the fabricated prototype show that this TSV probing scheme presents -55dB insertion loss at 1GHz frequency and maintains higher than 35dB signal-to-noise ratio within 5µm distance. A microscale contactless probe based on the principle of resonant inductive coupling has also been designed and simulated. Experimental measurements on a prototype fabricated in TSMC 65nm CMOS technology indicate that the data signal on the TSV can be reconstructed when the distance between the TSV and the probe remains less than 15µm.