Tescan Orsay Holding launches the new Large Volume Workflow for faster failure and defect root-cause analysis in semiconductor manufacturing and materials research. The new approach implements correlative microscopy techniques to provide parallel processing through stand-alone laser ablation and plasma focused ion beam (Plasma FIB) systems. Neither system is idled by the operation of the other. The laser ablation system can prepare samples for multiple downstream tools, whether they be multiple FIBs or various other failure analysis tools. The net result is an increase in analytical throughput and productivity that ultimately reduces cost per analysis.
In the Tescan Large Volume Workflow, a stand-alone laser ablation tool and a plasma focused ion beam-scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) together support rapid, cubic-millimeter-scale material removal for sample preparation and analysis workflows, harnessing the fast material removal rates inherent to both laser and Plasma FIB, even for non-conductive hard materials like glass and ceramics. With the laser tool dedicated to bulk material removal operations, the Plasma FIB-SEM is available to handle the final sample processing steps, including targeted material removal, sample thinning, cross-section polishing and further analysis (such as EDX, EBSD, TOF-SIMS).
“Recently, the trend has been to move to larger sample dimensions and more complex device structures which, together with pressure of time-to-result, have been a challenge in general for FIB technology,” said Jozef Vincenc Oboňa, product marketing director, Semiconductors. “This technology shift in devices and structures has meant that FIB milling, which provides accelerated material removal rates for sub-mm spatial dimensions, may have difficulty achieving the speed now required to efficiently access even deeper buried features of interest. Adding the faster laser ablation technique to the Plasma FIB sample analysis process speeds access to defects or other regions of interest while also opening possibilities for new synergies among other instrumentation in the analytical laboratory. Moreover, this concept protects the FIB-SEM from extensive contamination.”
Laser ablation significantly improves time-to-result for extremely large volume milling operations and rapid access to deeply buried regions of interest. The implementation of laser ablation as a stand-alone tool allows labs not only to better leverage the advantages and capabilities of Plasma FIB, but also to better support the analytical pipeline for other failure analysis instruments. Tescan Large Volume Workflow supports Tescan Solaris X, Tescan Amber X and Tescan legacy plasma FIB instruments by handling the bulk milling operations, as well as supporting other analytical instruments that would benefit from the thousands of times faster laser ablation technique for sample processing.