DualBeam Microscope

Helios NanoLab 460F1 for Semiconductors

Shorten time to useable data and reduce cost of ownership

The Helios NanoLab™ 460F1 contains the EasyLift Nanomanipulator to support higher yields for transmission electron microscope (TEM) sample lift-out through an intuitive, integrated UI. It also features the MultiChem Gas Delivery System for optimized beam-assisted deposition or etching. Both systems were designed and built based on years of application knowledge and expertise in the fields of in situ sample lift-out and gas-assisted FIB/SEM applications. In addition to simplifying the process for advanced failure analysis and TEM sample preparation, EasyLift and MultiChem improve operator confidence and consistency, reducing the Cost of Ownership as it relates to consumables usage. With the Helios 460F1 system, Pathfinding Labs are able to shorten the "time to useable data" by producing a high- contrast, high-resolution STEM image, thus reducing the demand for standalone S/TEM systems. Every hour or day spent waiting for new process or material qualifications data from the lab can result in delays in getting new products to market. The ability to quickly produce high-quality, actionable 30kV STEM images within the DualBeam provides a clear advantage to your lab.




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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 Helios Nanolab 460F1 combines the industry-leading, highest resolution Elstar+UC SEM with the most advanced Tomahawk FIB for best-in-class imaging and milling performance. Added to this field-proven, third-generation Helios platform are the most advanced in situ lift-out and sample manipulation components, an innovative multiple gas delivery system, a new high-resolution low-kV STEM detector, and customizable recipes to create 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 end-pointing on ultra-thin TEM lamella. 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 combination of new Flipstage 3 and STEM III detector not only supports inverted lamella preparation which is critical to creating high quality, ultra-thin samples for STEM or TEM, but provides new capability in the quest to shorten the "time to useable data". The new Flipstage 3 adds an additional rotation axis to facilitate SEM end-pointing on both sides of the lamella and allows the operator an almost unlimited range of positions available for creating inverted or plan view samples. As lamella thicknesses continue to shrink, the higher energies in standalone S/TEM systems (generally operating at >80 or 120kV) have very little material to interact with in the sample. Thinner and thinner samples require lower and lower electron beam accelerating voltages to allow the electrons to interact with the different materials in the sample. The design of the new STEM III detector, in combination with the 30kV electron beam, has been shown to have improved sensitivity to materials with similar atomic mass than previous STEM detectors in Dualbeam systems. Having the ability to complete the FA work in the Dualbeam with a low kV STEM image - without having to expose the finished sample to ambient air - shortens the time to data and reduces the need for standalone S/TEM systems.

Figure 1: 30kV Brightfield image of 32nm logic device
Figure 2: 30kV Darkfield 1 image of 32nm logic device
Figure 3: 30kV Brightfield image of 32nm logic device
Figure 4: Colorized image of multiple STEM detector segments collected during simultaneous acquisition

Higher Throughput

For Semiconductor Failure Analysis labs supporting Pathfinding or sub 28nm process development, the requirement to create high quality, site specific TEM lamella 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 than it has been in the past. This requires innovative techniques and automation to increase the speed and ease in making ultra-thin TEM samples.

The Helios NanoLab 460F1 is capable of producing < 20nm thick TEM lamella in exactly the right place, minimizing artifacts from preparation, at much higher throughputs than previously achievable. Higher resolution and higher contrast images - supported with the new 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, in most cases sub 20nm, high quality lamella can be created and ready for S/TEM imaging in under 90 minutes.

By moving to a patented, inverted sample preparation process, the Helios 460F1 is able to create much wider (up to 5-10um wide) and thinner (down to 15nm or less) samples than traditional top down methods. The 460F1 utilizes the new motorized Flipstage 3 to facilitate fast inversion once the sample has been lifted out using FEI's integrated EasyLift Nanomanipulator.

Minimal sample damage is achieved using the highest resolution, most capable FIB available in a Dualbeam - the Tomahawk FIB. Combining the small spot size of the Tomahawk 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 460F1 will support future Automated Daily Preventative Maintenance routines built on FEI's iFast™ automation software to ensure optimal day-to-day system performance. Together these features enable ultra-thin lamella to be generated across multiple tools in a consistent manner independent of operator skill level.

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