The standard Ga focused ion beam (FIB) technology is facing challenges because of a request for large volume removal. This is true in the field of failure analysis. This article presents the first combined tool which can fulfill this requirement. This tool offers the combination of a high resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a high current FIB with Xe plasma ion source. The article focuses on failure analysis examples and discusses the different steps of extra large cross sections (deposition of protective layer, rough milling, and polishing). Several applications of the novel Xe plasma FIB/SEM instrument are shown with respect to the failure analysis. The performance of the instrument is tested and discussed in comparison to gallium liquid metal ion source FIB systems. Results show that the Xe plasma FIB offers much higher milling rate, greatly reducing the time necessary for many failure analysis tasks.

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