A new TEM sample preparation technique was developed to meet the increasing demand and fast turn around time requirements in today’s semiconductor industry. The technique uses a FIB to deposit a thin strip of platinum over the desired structure. The strip then serves as a mask during subsequent etching in a reactive ion etcher. During etching, material on both sides of the strip are removed in a single etch process, leaving a thin wall that is transparent to the electron beam in a TEM. The major advantage of this technique is a 30% to 50% reduction in preparation time of multiple TEM samples.

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