Introduction Focused Ion Beam
The Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system uses a Ga + ion beam to raster over the surface of a sample in a similar way as the electron beam in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The generated secondary electrons (or ions) are collected to form an image of the surface of the sample.
The ion beam allows the milling of small holes in the sample at well localized sites, so that cross-sectional images of the structure can be obtained or that modifications in the structures can be made.
Most instruments combine nowadays a SEM and FIB column. Depending on the vendor the system is called "DualBeam", "CrossBeam" or "Multibeam". Generally the ion beam will be used for milling and the electron beam for imaging. It allows non-destructive imaging at higher magnifications and with better image resolution, and also more accurate control of the progress of the milling.
The applications of FIB include :
- cross-sectional imaging through semiconductor devices (or any layered structure)
- modification of the electrical routing on semiconductor devices
- failure analysis
- preparation for physico-chemical analysis
- preparation of specimens for transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
- preparation of samples for AtomProbe analysis
- mask repair
- non-semiconductor applications
Further information on FIB.
FIB introduction on Wikipedia
Contact : European FIB Users Group