For Semiconductor Failure Analysis labs supporting Pathfinding or sub-14nm process development, the requirement to create high-quality, site-specific TEM lamellas presents unique challenges and opportunities. These samples must be ultra-thin—generally with lamella thicknesses equal or less than the design node—to eliminate adjacent structures from the resultant analysis. In addition, they must be as close to "artifact-free" as possible to enable correct diagnosis and metrology in the S/TEM or TEM. Finally, in order to support the rapid development and process ramp of any new product, the process of TEM lamella creation must be faster and more consistent. This requires innovative techniques and automation to increase the speed and ease in making ultra-thin TEM samples.
The Helios G4 FX DualBeam is capable of producing sub-10nm TEM lamellas in exactly the right place, minimizing artifacts from preparation, at much higher throughputs than previously achievable. High-resolution and high-contrast images—supported with the MD and ICD BSE detectors—allow the operator to accurately and more quickly determine the correct endpoint for each side of the lamella. Depending on the specific sample type, high-quality, ultra-thin lamellas can be created and ready for S/TEM imaging in under 75 minutes.
By moving to a patented, inverted sample preparation process, the Helios G4 FX DualBeam is able to create much wider (up to 5-10um wide) and thinner (down to 7nm or less) samples than traditional top-down methods. The Helios G4 FX DualBeam utilizes the new compustage double-tilt holder to facilitate fast inversion once the sample has been lifted out using the integrated FEI EasyLift Nanomanipulator.
Minimal sample damage is achieved using the highest-resolution, most capable FIB available in a DualBeam —the Phoenix FIB. Combining the small spot size of the Phoenix with the highly sensitive ICE detector (secondary electron/secondary ion detector) allows operators to easily perform low-kV final cleans with the Gallium beam. This removes crystalline damage created by higher-voltage FIB milling and produces high-quality, virtually "artifact-free" samples for the TEM.
Customer-specific recipes created from pre-tested, FEI-created recipes ensure consistent TEM lamella quality and throughput across operators. The Helios G4 FX DualBeam will support future Automated Daily Preventative Maintenance routines built on the FEI iFast™ automation software to ensure optimal day-to-day system performance. Together, these features enable ultra-thin lamellas will be generated across multiple tools in a consistent manner independent of operator skill level.