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This article provides an overview of how to use the scanning electron microscope (SEM) for imaging integrated circuits. The discussion covers the principles of operation and practical techniques of the SEM. The techniques include sample mounting, sample preparation, sputter coating, sample tilt and image composition, focus and astigmatism correction, dynamic focus and image correction, raster alignment, and adjusting brightness and contrast. The article also provides information on achieving ultra-high resolution in the SEM. It concludes with information on the general characteristics and applications of environmental SEM.

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