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Proceedings Paper

Towards laboratory x-ray nanotomography: instrumental improvements on a SEM-based system
Author(s): L. A. Gomes Perini; P. Bleuet; B. Buijsse; L. F. Tz. Kwakman; W. Parker
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Paper Abstract

We aim at resolving deca-nanometer features in microelectronic samples using a laboratory SEM-based X-ray tomography microscope. Such a system produces X-rays through the interaction between a focused SEM electron beam and a metallic target. The effective source size of the X-ray beam can be adjusted by varying the target material and geometry. For instance, the use of tungsten nanowires (few hundred nanometers of length) combined with a high electron beam current leads to an increased X-ray flux generated in a reduced volume, necessary for detecting interface details of the analyzed object. It improves resolution and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), but is also sensitive to electron beam-target instabilities during the scan. To improve robustness, a FFT-based image correlation is integrated in the process through a closed-loop control scheme. It allows stabilizing the electron beam on the target and to preserve the X-ray flux intensity and alignment. Also, a state of the art high-resolution scientific-CMOS (sCMOS) X-ray detector was installed, allowing to reduce noise and to increase quantum efficiency. Results show that such numerical and equipment improvements lead to significant gains in spatial resolution, SNR and scanning time of the SEM-based tomography. It paves the way to routine, high resolution, 3D X-ray imaging in the laboratory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 October 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9967, Developments in X-Ray Tomography X, 99671A (3 October 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2235993
Show Author Affiliations
L. A. Gomes Perini, Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France)
CEA, LETI (France)
P. Bleuet, Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France)
CEA, LETI (France)
B. Buijsse, FEI Co. (United States)
L. F. Tz. Kwakman, FEI Co. (United States)
W. Parker, FEI Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9967:
Developments in X-Ray Tomography X
Stuart R. Stock; Bert Müller; Ge Wang, Editor(s)

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