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Novel semiconductor device fabrication requires highly accurate imaging and failure analysis to produce improved and optimized fabrication workflows. This means advanced (scanning) transmission electron microscopy (TEM and STEM, or (S)TEM) tools have become a critical component in all leading-edge wafer-fabrication processes.

However, TEM imaging and analysis are highly dependent on the quality of the sample. As a result, sample preparation is a crucial task in fabrication facilities and failure analysis labs. The problem is that conventional methods for ultra-thin (S)TEM sample preparation are challenging and time-consuming, requiring hours, if not days of manual operation by experienced users. The wide range of materials now used in device manufacturing, coupled with the need for site-specific information, only further complicates this process.

Thermo Fisher Scientific offers rapid, accurate, and robust sample preparation tools for (S)TEM imaging on advanced semiconductor designs. Our entire suite of sample preparation instruments allows you to reach atomic scale data faster, easier, and with minimal cost-per-sample. Additionally, Thermo Scientific AutoTEM 5 Software supports fully automated in-situ TEM sample preparation using DualBeam systems. This gives users (of any experience level) the ability to obtain fast, reliable, and repeatable results. Click through to the appropriate product pages below for more information.


Semiconductor sample preparation with AutoTEM Software.
Sample prepared with AutoTEM 5 Software, which enables 1-click bulk sample preparation.

TEM sample preparation workflow examples





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Semiconductor Failure Analysis

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Complex semiconductor device structures result in more places for defects to hide. Learn more about failure analysis solutions to isolate, analyze, and repair defects.


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Many factors impact yield, performance, and reliability. Learn more about solutions to characterize physical, structural, and chemical properties.

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Semiconductor metrology

Manufacturing today’s complex semiconductors requires exact process controls. Learn more about advanced metrology and analysis solutions to accelerate yield learnings.


Semiconductor Materials and Device Characterization

As semiconductor devices shrink and become more complex, new designs and structures are needed. High-productivity 3D analysis workflows can shorten device development time, maximize yield, and ensure that devices meet the future needs of the industry.

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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

ExSolve WTP DualBeam

  • Can prepare site-specific, 20 nm thick lamellae on whole wafers up to 300 mm in diameter
  • Addresses needs requiring automated, high-throughput sampling at advanced technology nodes

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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