Scientia Silicon are a UK based laboratory offering a range of sample preparation and analytical services to the Semiconductor industry and beyond. We have over 12 years experience in semiconductor preparation and analysis techniques.
Focused Ion Beam (FIB) systems use a Gallium metal source to generate a beam of ions which can effectively mill and deposit materials at the micro and nanoscale. A FIB that has the ability to mill/cut as well as deposit both insulating and conductive materials can open up a whole world of possibilities. FIB can be used to quickly cross-section a microchip and can also be used to effectively 'edit' a circuit or enable access to metal circuitry buried deep down inside the device. The FIB technique is not limited to semiconductors and therefore the applications and possibilities are wide-reaching. Scientia's engineers have over a decade of FIB/SEM (Dualbeam) experience.
Scanning Electron Microscopy can be used to examine all manner of materials, devices or even organisms in extremely high detail. Samples are usually coated in a very thin layer of metal (Gold or Paladium) to enhance image quality. Images at 200,000 times magnification are not uncommon.
Examples of applications include, but are not limited to:
Cross-sections of semiconductor devices
Imaging of delayered integrated circuits
Analysis of hair, bone etc.
Measurements of particle sizes, eg. pigments and resins
Have your device of interest opened up so that an initial inspection or review can be carried out. Optical microscopy can be used initially to locate die marks and other features that may be visible on the top layer of the chip. A stitched image can also be generated to offer a quick, general overview of the device.
Semiconductor devices are made up of many layers, consisting of conductors (Aluminium, Tungsten, Copper) and insulators (Silicon Oxide, Silicon Nitride). High precision mechanical delayering is the favoured technique for removing these layers so that subsequent circuitry can be examined.
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