Sem & HR SEM

SEM  / SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY SERVICEs

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is an essential tool for virtually all materials sciences work, including advanced materials, thin films & nano devices. SEM measurement techniques are used for high magnification and high-resolution observation of sample surfaces. Scanning electron microscopy uses an electron beam to explore the surface of a sample. The interaction of these electrons with the specimen causes various signals to be emitted, such as secondary electrons, backscattered electrons, Auger electrons, cathodoluminescence, and X-rays. Capturing and analyzing these signals yields a wealth of information about the sample’s morphology and texture, chemical composition, and crystalline structure.

USES OF SEM:

All materials development, thin films development, semiconductors, optical components, and coatings are common applications for scanning electron microscopy.

MEASUREMENTS COMMON WITH SEM:

  • Surface imaging
  • Particle sizes and features dimensions (including film thickness, features height) with calibrated instruments
  • Top-Down SEM: used to image the top surface of the sample to look for defects
  • Cross-sectional SEM (X-SEM): used to look at the sample structure where the cross-section is created either mechanically or with an focused ion-beam (FIB).  
  • Environmental SEM:  for characterizing samples under specific pressure or temperature conditions
  • CD-SEM: used to produce dimensional information such as defect size, layer thickness, surface roughness
  • Defect Review SEM: used to navigate to a particular location on a sample normally supplied by another inspection tool and image the defect or help in particle identification

EXAMPLE OUTPUTS OF SEM

Cross section of a defect (high resolution FIB-SEM): solvent contamination has created a bubble during processing of this sample. A targeted FIB cut reveals the void, then imaged with high resolution FE-SEM.

INSTRUMENTS WE USE FOR SEM

FEI Helios 600i: High-definition FE-SEM, with imaging resolution down to 0.8nm. This instrument utilizes high-field immersion optics, and stage biasing to provide improved resolution.

Hitachi S-4700: (FE-SEM) Hitachi is a leading and trusted manufacturer of electron microscopes. The Hitachi S-4700 FE-SEM gives access to high depth-of-field and high magnification imaging.

ZEISS Ultra-55: Scanning Electron Microscope with imaging resolution down to 2nm. The electrostatic final-lens design, and ability to work at long working-distances on this FE-SEM allows for excellent resolution of ferrous samples, excellent beam-deflection for electron beam lithography, and high depth-of-field imaging.

FEI Helios Hydra HR-SEM: One of the highest resolution SEM columns on the market.  This instrument is equipped with a mono-chromatic, field-emission gun, drift–correction, and stage biasing. Can achieve up to 0.5nm imaging resolution.