Fault Identification

In failed semiconductor devices it is important to be able to localise faults for subsequent analysis. OmniProbe nanomanipulators facilitate a number of different techniques for the imaging of electrical properties conductivity.

  • Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) and Electron Beam Absorbed Current (EBAC) measurements to image electrical defects in devices
  • Repeatable touch down and contact of 10 nm features



E3 Brochure

The E3 quantitative nanoprobing microanalysis system enables the electrical characterisation (EBIC, EBAC and Electrical probing) of devices and materials in the SEM & FIB. This 8 page brochure gives an overview of the E3 product.

PDF 9.22MB
EBIC Analysis Application Note

Electron Beam Induced Current is a well established analysis method of electrical activity in the SEM. It provides a unique correlation of electrical and structural properties with very high spatial resolution.This application note shows how the Oxford Instruments integrated EBIC microanalysis system is configured and applied to analyse defects in a Si solar cell.


PDF 2.95MB

Fault Isolation

Once a fault is identified, it and the surrounding material must be isolated and often removed for further chemical or structual characterisation.

  • Repeatable and reliable lift out using OmniProbe 400
  • Workflows for advanced lamella preparation
  • Monitor sample thickness during thining with AZtec LayerProbe



Elemental Characterisation in the FIB/SEM

Chemical analysis using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) in the Focused Ion Beam (FIB) or Scanning Electon Microscope (SEM) is an important diagnostic tool to undertsand the root cause of a device failure. It is used to link device characteristics with chemical variations in the fabrication process.

  • Fast elemental mapping using AZtecLive and Ultim Max Large Area SDD
  • Unrivalled low kV EDS for TEM like results in the SEM using Ultim Extreme
  • Solutions for layer thickness measurement and automated partical detection and analysis with AZtecFeature



LayerProbe - Analysing Flexible Electronics

Research and development of electronic circuitry mounted on plastic substrates is gathering pace with an increasingly large range of products incorporating flexible components. Such circuits are increasingly found in consumer electronics, medical devices, automotive settings and in satellites.

In order to assess the structural properties of the electronic components, they have to be analysed while on the plastic substrate without compromising their structural integrity.

PDF 2.38MB
Mapping Semiconductor Devices in the SEM

As semiconductor devices continue to decrease in size to improve performance and take advantage of advances in fabrication techniques, there is a need to analyse both their structure and chemistry at ever increasing resolution. Typically this requires the use of TEM for metrology and failure analysis. Using ultrahigh resolution FEG-SEM, low kV imaging and the new X-Max Extreme EDS detector we demonstrate the ability to retain some of this high resolution analysis in the SEM. This allows for better targeting of resources and increased throughput of analysis.

PDF 4.31MB

Structual Characterisation

Electron Backscatter Detection (EBSD) delivers an understanding of how the structure of material changes during the fabrication process and how this can cause faults in devices.

  • Symmetry EBSD offers the highest speed and sensitivity for characterisation of semiconductor materials
  • Measure and viisualise grain size and structure in real time
  • Superfast EBSD minimises drift during nanoscale characterisation
  • Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD) with thse Symmetry detector achieves extreme spatial resolution at fastest speed


Symmetry - EBSD Detector

Symmetry, the world's first EBSD detector based on CMOS sensor technology, is set to revolutionise EBSD analysis.

PDF 8.36MB
Transmission Kikuchi Diffraction (TKD) of Metals

Successful TKD analyses require an EBSD detector with both high speed and high sensitivity. The suitability of Symmetry for TKD is demonstrated here on both deformed Al alloys and nanocrystalline Ni.

PDF 11.99MB

Elemental Characterisation in the TEM

As feature sizes in single devices continue to decrease, being able to analyse the structural and chemical properties of faults requires the use of Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). AZtecTEM and X-Max SDD detectors allow chemical analysis in the TEM to be performed at single nanometre or even atomic resolution.

  • Large area X-Max EDS detectors deliver accurate results at ultra high resolution
  • Automatic absorption correction and thickness measuremtn for accurate quantitative analysis



Semiconductor analysis in the TEM

Development and testing of semiconductor devices requires extensive knowledge of local structure and elemental composition. With feature sizes of <5 nm, it is often necessary to perform imaging and EDS analysis in a S/TEM.

Once in the TEM, there are still many difficulties to be overcome to acquire accurate elemental maps. Elemental analysis of semiconductors is typically difficult due to strong overlaps of X-ray lines between commonly used elements and low concentrations of dopants. Not only are concentrations of dopants small but their X-ray lines often overlap with other materials used in semiconductor processing. This brief shows how AZtecTEM solves these overlaps to achieve an accurate elemental analysis.

PDF 3.27MB
AZtecTem Brochure

A 16 page brochure showing why AZtecTEM is the most powerful solution for EDS on the TEM. It comprises software and hardware sections (inc X-Max 100TLE and X-Max TSR).

PDF 1.43MB

Sample Deprocessing

Before any analysis or defect identification can be performed the device must be prepared this becomes more challenging as device architecture becomes ever more 3-dimensional. Plasma assisted etch and deposition ensure accurate results quickly to maximise productivity.

  • Fast and clean removal of Polymide, IMD and metals allowing access to underlying layers
  • Problems throughout the structure can be traced and analysed
  • Decorating samples by thin film deposition greatly enhances accuracy of TEM and SEM analysis

Find out more

Products For This ApplicationMore applications

Nanomanipulators - OmniProbe 400

Nanomanipulators - OmniProbe 400

The ultimate port-based nanomanipulator solution for efficient work and reduced contamination.

EBSD Software AZtecHKL

EBSD Software AZtecHKL

AZtecHKL EBSD software is is a very powerful tool for microstructural characterisation in the SEM or FIB.



Real-time chemical imaging - a completely new and powerful way of performing EDS analysis!

Silicon Drift Detector - Ultim Max

Silicon Drift Detector - Ultim Max

Silicon Drift Detector - Ultim Max with 170mm2 and 100mm2 sensor area, Ultim Max performs quantitative analysis at >400,000 cps and maps at >1,000,000 cps.

EBSD Detector - Symmetry

EBSD Detector - Symmetry

Symmetry is a revolutionary new EBSD detector from Oxford Instruments based on customised CMOS technology, providing unprecedented performance and ease of use.

EDS Software for SEM AZtecEnergy

EDS Software for SEM AZtecEnergy

AZtecEnergy EDS Microanalysis software characterises material composition of samples inside a SEM or FIB. From high speed acquisition, data analysis and reporting of single points, linescans and area mapping.

Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) - X-Max Extreme

Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) - X-Max Extreme

Windowless 100mm2 X-Max detector for Ultra High Resolution FEG-SEM, providing breakthrough spatial resolution and surface sensitivity for EDS.

Thin film analysis in the SEM: LayerProbe

Thin film analysis in the SEM: LayerProbe

LayerProbe is a thin film analysis tool that measures the thickness and composition of multiple layers in thin film structures in the SEM. It is an extension to AZtec EDS analysis.

Particle analysis in the SEM - AZtecFeature

Particle analysis in the SEM - AZtecFeature

AZtecFeature is an innovative particle characterisation system for the SEM that is specifically optimised for ease-of-use and high-speed sample throughput

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