Aplanatic solid immersion lens (SIL) microscopy is required to achieve the highest possible resolution for next generation silicon IC backside inspection and failure analysis. However, aplanatic SILs are susceptible to spherical aberration introduced by substrate thickness mismatch. We have developed a wavefront precompensation technique using a MEMS deformable mirror and demonstrated an increase in substrate thickness tolerance in aplanatic SIL imaging. Good agreement between theory and experiment is achieved and spot intensity increases by at least a factor of two to three are demonstrated for thicknesses deviating several percent from ideal. This technique is also capable of fixing aberrations due to SIL fabrication, off-axis imaging and refractive index mismatch.

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