Carl Zeiss adds nanopatterning engine for FIB/SEMs

July 28, 2009: Carl Zeiss is adding a nanopatterning engine to its CrossBeam FIB/SEM workstations to offer more flexible and precise control of the focus ion beam. Application examples include atom probe tip preparation, microstrainer, nano-optical elements (e.g., Fresnel-lenses), and custom structures.

Key features include:

- a “drawing program”-style interface, to speed up patterning of complex shapes (e.g. ellipses, rings, text etc.) “in a matter of minutes”;
-16-bit vector scanning with variable dwell time, raster modes, and integrated imaging;
- 3D patterning based on grayscale bitmaps;
- serial or parallel patterning of shapes with distinct parameters (e.g., beam current, dwell time, dwell spacing, direction, etc.)
- real-time visualization from the perspective of the patterning beam as well as live SEM imaging of the patterning process.

The standard version of the software supports 8 basic shapes, greyscale bitmap nanopatterning, text patterning, real-time image processing and FFT, image acquisition up to 6k × 6k, beam perspective imaging, and auto drift correction (Q4); it also includes an Operation Builder and Deflection Lists.

An “Advanced” upgrade beefs up the image acquisition to 32k × 32k and with high-speed imaging, and adds support for voids and outlines, slice list 3D NanoPatterning, threshold milling, set operations, overlap resolver, and a FIB assist imaging & endpointing enhancement tool.

Some examples of structures:


Spiral of ring-structures. Left: Perspective of the patterning beam. Right: Corresponding SEM view image. (Source: Carl Zeiss)


“NanObama” patterned based on greyscale bitmap. (Source: Carl Zeiss)


Pillar structure created using the same dose and beam current settings but different milling strategies. (Source: Carl Zeiss)

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