AMAT introduces first automated in-line SEM/FIB system

November 28, 2003 – Applied Materials recently introduced the SEMVision G2 FIB defect analysis system, touted as the first in-line production tool to integrate advanced defect-review scanning electron microscope (SEM) capability with automated focused ion beam (FIB) cross-sectioning and EDX energy dispersive x-ray analysis technology in one system.

The in-line system identifies the root cause of defects and initiates real-time corrective action. The FIB-on-SEM system has the potential to increase production efficiency and improve yield, a critical element of semiconductor manufacturing, especially for 300mm fabs.

“The goal is to give the yield guys what they need,” said Yogev Barak, chief marketing officer, process diagnostics and control for Applied’s product business group, in an interview with WaferNews. The system uses Applied’s patented ClearCut technology, which enables short working distances under both the SEM and FIB, as well as a variety of advanced imaging technologies.

The basic advantage of an FIB/SEM system is that the entire wafer does not have to be cleaved for inspection; a trench is milled, and only one die is destroyed. Other companies have produced FIB/SEM systems for defect characterization and failure analysis, but Applied’s introduction of an in-line system may push the technology toward broader use. — Kevin Fitzgerald, Executive Editor


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