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.