DualBeam Microscope

Helios G4 FX DualBeam for Semiconductors

Enabling development of 7nm devices with shorter time to data

The FEI Helios G4 FX DualBeam™ miceoscope is FEI's most advanced failure analysis DualBeam platform, capable of creating high-quality, ultra-thin TEM lamellae for 7nm process development and ramp. Containing the all-new, high-performance Phoenix focused ion beam (FIB) column, the Helios G4 FX DualBeam  allows operators to quickly and efficiently create ultra-thin lamellae with minimal damage and maximum cut fidelity. Combining the highest-resolution Elstar+UC scanning electron microscope (SEM) column and the FEI EasyLift Nanomanipulator, the Helios G4 FX DualBeam makes endpointing and in-situ sample lift-out easier than ever. FEI's unique MultiChem Gas Delivery System provides optimized beam-assisted deposition and etching capabilities. In addition to simplifying the process for advanced failure analysis and TEM sample preparation, EasyLift and MultiChem improve operator confidence and consistency, reducing overall system Cost of Ownership. The Helios G4 FX DualBeam is also the first DualBeam system to include sub 3Å-resolution STEM imaging, providing advanced Pathfinding Labs with much shorter turnaround times to high quality data. The ability to quickly produce high-quality, actionable 30kV STEM images within the DualBeam provides a clear advantage to FA labs and process developers.




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The world's most advanced DualBeam platform for imaging, analysis, and TEM sample preparation in semiconductor pathfinding and process development laboratories.

The FEI Helios G4 FX DualBeam combines the industry-leading, highest-resolution Elstar+UC SEM with the most advanced Phoenix FIB for best-in-class imaging and milling performance. Added to this field-proven, fourth-generation Helios platform are the most advanced in situ lift-out and sample manipulation components, an innovative multiple gas delivery system, a dramatically improved 3Å-resolution, low-kV STEM detector, and customizable recipes, creating the most capable and flexible failure analysis instrument available today.

Cross Section Imaging

The innovative Elstar electron column with UC monochromator technology provides the foundation of the systems' unprecedented high-resolution imaging capability. This translates to uncompromised SEM resolution of 0.6nm at optimum working distance and 0.8nm at dual beam coincidence. High-resolution, low-damage electron beam imaging is critical for identifying defects or structural problems within the bulk sample and endpointing on ultra-thin TEM lamellas. Operating at very low landing energies is also critical to minimize beam-induced damage on sensitive materials such as low-k dielectric or photoresist.

Shorten time to data

The Helios G4 FX DualBeam comes with a new compustage for TEM grid handling and G4 STEM detector to support inverted lamella preparation, a critical workflow for creating high-quality, ultra-thin samples for STEM or TEM, and provides new capability to shorten the time to useable data. The dedicated compustage and double-tilt STEM rod holder provide five axes of rotation to facilitate SEM endpointing on both sides of the lamella, and allows the operator to easily create inverted or plan view samples. As lamella thicknesses continue to shrink, the higher energy electrons in standalone S/TEM systems (generally operating at >80 or 120kV) have very little material to interact with in the sample. Thinner and thinner lamellae require lower and lower electron beam accelerating voltages to allow electrons more interactions with different materials in the sample, a necessary step for maximizing materials contrast and delineating interfaces. The all-new G4 STEM detector, in combination with a 30kV electron beam, has been shown to have improved sensitivity to materials with similar atomic mass than previous STEM detectors in DualBeam systems. The ability to complete failure analysis work in the DualBeam with a low-kV STEM image-without exposing the finished sample to ambient air-shortens the time to data and reduces the need for standalone S/TEM systems.

STEM image of carbon nanotubes showing sub 3Å resolution of carbon atoms
Bright Field STEM image of 14nm FinFET
High Angle Annular Dark Field STEM image of a 14nm FinFET device showing multiple layers and interconnect

Higher Throughput

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.