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.
This article provides an overview of the most common micro-analytical technique in the failure analysis laboratory: energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). It discusses the general characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of some of the X-ray detectors attached to the scanning electron microscope chamber including the lithium-drifted EDS detector, silicon drift detector (SDD), and wavelength dispersive X-ray detector. The article then provides information on qualitative and quantitative X-ray analysis programs followed by a discussion on EDS elemental mapping. The discussion includes a comparison of scanning transmission electron microscope-EDS elemental mapping and mapping with an SDD. A brief section is devoted to the discussion on the artifacts that occur during X-ray mapping.