FEI's New TrueCrystal Strain Package Combines Ease of Use with Reduced Time to Data

Published on November 4, 2008 at 9:56 AM

FEI Company, a leading provider of atomic-scale imaging and analysis systems, today released its new TrueCrystal Strain Analysis package that can be installed on a Titan(TM) or Tecnai(TM) scanning/transmission electron microscope (S/TEM) system. The new, automated strain analysis package allows engineers to achieve highly accurate measurements in a fraction of the time of existing techniques.

"Silicon strain engineering is an important process innovation in advanced semiconductor manufacturing; it allows for improved device performance and efficiency at advanced technology nodes. Currently, only TEM has proven capable of measuring these induced lattice strains at the required spatial resolution," said Joseph Race, product marketing manager, Electronics Division at FEI. "TrueCrystal Strain Analysis is a complete analytical package for the determination of strain along any line in a crystalline sample, at the nanometer level."

Tony Edwards, vice president and general manager of FEI's Electronics Division, adds, "FEI's TrueCrystal Strain Analysis package is an example of our corporate commitment to providing customers with comprehensive, application-specific solutions that aim to maximize TEM productivity, reduce data acquisition times and lower overall cost of analysis."

TrueCrystal leverages a combination of nano-beam diffraction (NBD) in the TEM, and a powerful off-line data analysis package, to quickly and easily generate the high-quality data required for advanced strained silicon process development.

The NBD technique is not subject to the limitations observed in more traditional methods, such as high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) and convergent beam electron diffraction (CBED). The on-line software component works within the microscope user interface, and the straightforward line-scan workflow will be familiar to anyone who has undertaken chemical analysis on a TEM. The off-line software component allows for strain analysis of each individual diffraction peak of the acquired diffraction patterns. The resulting data is then used to automatically generate a plot of the strain profile across the acquired line scan. From experiment, through final data reduction, to presentation of results, the TrueCrystal Strain Analysis package combined with a Titan or Tecnai TEM will allow rapid, accurate strain profile determination in a broad range of samples.

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