FIB Microscope employs liquid metal ion source (LMIS) of gallium which irradiates the sample surface to obtain images or remove impurities. The method is similar to FESEM (Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope), except that FIB Microscopy uses gallium ion to hit the sample surface. Combining with successful selective etching of organic gas and deposition of conductors or non-conductors, the FIB Microscope is mainly used for IC circuit edit, partial cross-section, and crystalline phase analysis.
IC Circuit Edit is one of the most beneficial applications of FIB. Due to the merit of saving a mask redo, FIB significantly shortens time for IC prototype validation and Time-to-market, which is a substantial advantage in IC design. FIB provides selective etching and deposition of conductors or non-conductors at a micrometerscale or even nanometerscale, offering IC designers opportunities of direct modification of circuitry that enables layout verification and saving both development time and modification costs.
IST currently has installed 9 FIB microscopes, VectraVision which was introduced to Taiwan semiconductor industry by IST, is intended for 65nm process and helps the high-end IC design houses with de-bugging and functionality validation after a pilot run. FEI VectraVision, Vectra 986+ and FEI 800xP are equipped with large vacuum chambers enabling on-chip direct FIB applications on 8” wafers. Furthermore, the Vectra series is equipped with CAD Navigation which enables the reading of KLA RF files and GDS II files for precise positioning.
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