Pathfinding & Device Development

The most advanced, flexible solutions for advanced semiconductor device and technology development

Semiconductor device manufacturers and designers are pushing the boundaries of physics.  Devices are being engineered at the atomic level. The number of technology options under investigation is increasing as the probability of technical and commercial success of any of them is becoming less and less certain.  FEI provides the most advanced toolsets that enable this advanced R&D to continue on the 10, 7 and even the sub 7nm technology nodes.

Challenges in Device Development

As semiconductor device manufacturers and designers move from planar devices to structures built with complex 3D shapes, with air gaps, or with novel materials the complexity of manufacturing and gate level failure analysis increases dramatically.  Identifying defects or resolving material interfaces in a FIB cut cross-section requires highly precise endpointing, surface preparation, and SEM imaging performance.  For atomic level defects or compositional analysis, creating ultra-thin lamella for transmission electron (TEM) or atom probe (APM) microscopy that capture the correct region of interest (ROI) presents other challenges.  Due to limited floorspace and budgets, labs are continually pushing to have best in class performance for each of these sample workflows in one sample preparation system.

  • Ultra thin (<10nm) samples
  • New materials (eg III-V)
  • Complex deposition techniques
  • New analytical techniques (eg. atom probe)
  • Atomic level engineering
  • High resolution strain measurement

FEI Solutions for Pathfinding

The Helios NanoLab 460F1 is designed to meet the varied challenges found in advanced semiconductor failure analysis labs by combining the highest resolution scanning electron microscope (Elstar+UC SEM) and focused ion beam (Tomahawk FIB) columns on the market today with the most advanced sample manipulation capabilities.  In-situ, low kV (30kV) STEM imaging reduces the time to high resolution, high contrast imaging.  New, high precision deposition and etching capabilities are mated with enhanced sample control and an extensive automation suite to deliver the right solution for any challenge your lab might encounter.

  • Most flexible DualbeamTM - Helios NanoLab 460F1
  • Atomic engineering TEMs - Themis & Metrios
  • Sub 14nm circuit edit - V400ACE


Site-specific metrology, inspection, and failure analysis of three-dimensional interconnects using focused ion beam technology

In this article, the Fraunhofer Institute and FEI show how the plasma-FIB is a very attractive tool for the analysis of relatively large, complex interconnect structures, such 3DICs, without any need for mechanical preparation steps.

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Products for Pathfinding & Device Development

Metrios TEM for Semiconductors
Advanced logic and memory manufacturing processes are becoming more reliant on fast turnaround of precise structural and analytical data to quickly calibrate tool sets, diagnose yield excursions and optimize process yields.  At technology nodes below 28nm, conventional SEM or optical based analysis and inspection tools cannot provide useful data. The FEI Metrios TEM automates the basic TEM operation and measurement procedures and minimizes the requirements for specialized operator training. Its advanced automated metrology routines deliver significantly greater precision than manual methods. The Metrios TEM is designed to deliver high volume TEM data, with accurate and repeatable operation - at the lowest cost-per-sample.
Helios NanoLab 460F1 DualBeam for Semiconductors
The world's most advanced DualBeam platform for imaging, analysis, and TEM sample preparation in the semiconductor industry, the FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 DualBeam™ incorporates a suite of state-of-the-art technologies which enable simple and consistent sample preparation on even the most challenging samples.
Helios PFIB DualBeam for Semiconductors
The FEI Helios PFIB DualBeam™ is the world's most advanced DualBeam Plasma FIB platform for large area deprocessing to enable electrical fault isolation of advanced process ICs and advanced failure analysis of 3D packages.
OptiFIB Taipan Focused Ion Beam for Semiconductors
To meet the stringent circuit edit requirements of the 10nm node, the OptiFIB Taipan Focused Ion-Beam system was engineered to meet the challenges of advanced designs and processes. A new coaxial ion-photon column, electronics, chamber and stage enable a highly controlled beam profile and current, accurate navigation and ion beam placement, and reliable end-pointing. An updated chemical delivery system provides industry-leading etch and deposition chemistries.
V400ACE Focused Ion Beam for Semiconductors
The FEI V400ACE FIB is specifically designed to meet the challenges of advanced designs and processes: smaller geometries, higher circuit densities, exotic materials and complex interconnect structures. The V400ACE FIB can be configured for backside editing with an optional IR microscope and bulk silicon trenching package.

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