FIB cross sectioning

Focused Ion Beam (FIB) instrument uses a finely focused ion beam to modify and image samples. FIB is chiefly used to create very precise place specific cross sections (below 100 nm accuracy) of a sample for subsequent imaging via SEMSTEM or TEM or to perform circuit modification. Additionally FIB can be used to image a sample directly, detecting emitted electrons. The contrast mechanism for FIB is different than for SEM or S/TEM, so for some specific examples FIB can provide unique information. A Dual Beam FIB integrates these two techniques into one tool thus enabling sample prep with FIB and SEM imaging without exchanging the sample.

An example:

FIB cross-section showed interruption of plating

FIB cross-section showed interruption of plating

For an electrical connector, it is important that the gold plating is thick enough and has good wear- resistance over its lifetime. To get a good image of such plating a Focused Ion Beam (FIB) is used. A tiny hole is milled and the resulting polished surface is analyzed using an electron microscope. In most case this electron microscope and FIB are combined in a so called DualBeam system.

FIB cross section features:

  • FIB has revolutionized sample preparation for TEM samples, making it possible to identify sub-micron features and precisely prepare cross sections
  • FIB-prepared sections are used extensively in SEM microscopy, where the FIB preparation, SEM imaging, and elemental analysis can happen on the same multi-technique tool.
  • FIB-prepared sections are also used in Auger Electron Spectroscopy to provide elemental identification of subsurface features quickly and precisely
  • It is an ideal tool for examining products with small, difficult-to-access features, such those found in the semiconductor industry and for sub-surface particle identification.
  • NO mechanical stress is applied to your sample
  • NO contaminants like grinding/polishing slurries are applied
  • It is a good alternative for products that are difficult to mechanically polish, such as a soft polymers.

Some applications:

  • Thin film coatings
  • Plating thicknesses
  • Elucidate a specific IC structure or Failure Analysis hotspot
  • Reverse engineering (e.g., reveal proces node of IC)
  • Reveal a particle or feature (like grain boundary or an inclusion)

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More Services: SEM-EDXChip DeprocessingFIB cross sectioningCompetitor Analysis on chipSemiconductor Patent Infringement analysisFIB Circuit EditFailure AnalysisReverse Engineering solutions

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