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Shrinking semiconductor geometries have led to increasingly more challenging nodes for pathfinding analysis. This necessitates increased capital expenses and puts greater pressure on new equipment to more rapidly reach entitled yield. Systems that can effectively combine multiple workflow steps into a single solution offer economy of scale to the lab and greater return on investment to the fabrication facility. Also, due to limited floorspace and budget, labs are pushing to have multiple analysis tools combined into a single system, rather than using many different instruments.

Laser ablation has been used to remove layers of material from a solid surface, typically in preparation for further analysis on a secondary tool such as a scanning electron microscope (SEM). A femtosecond laser can be combined with other instruments, such as a DualBeam (a combined focused ion beam and SEM). This offers you a unique in-situ workflow within a single system, eliminating the need for separate tools, as well as reducing cost and occupied lab space. Combining these technologies allows advanced packaging analysis labs to quickly characterize millimeter-scale volumes of material in 3D with nanometer resolution while preserving sample integrity. Using a plasma focused ion beam (PFIB), they can also get accurate large-volume 3D and sub-surface data up to 15,000 times faster than a typical gallium-ion FIB.

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers combined laser and DualBeam tools that couple our best-in-class SEM systems with a PFIB and an in-chamber, femtosecond laser beam. This allows you to perform high-resolution imaging and analysis with in-situ ablation capability, enabling unprecedented material removal rates and fast millimeter-scale characterization at nanometer resolution.

Laser ablation workflow example






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Helios 5 HX/Helios 5 UX/Helios 5 FX DualBeam

  • Fully automated, high-quality, ultra-thin TEM sample preparation
  • High throughput, high resolution subsurface and 3D characterization
  • Rapid nanoprototyping capabilities

AutoTEM 5

  • Fully automated in situ S/TEM sample preparation
  • Support of top-down, planar and inverted geometry
  • Highly configurable workflow
  • Easy to use, intuitive user interface

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Electron microscopy services for

To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.

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