BRNO, Czech Republic, Dec. 13, 2011 — Tescan has unveiled the FERA3 XMH high-resolution Schottky field emission scanning electron microscope with an integrated plasma source focused ion beam (FIB). The system has been developed in cooperation with French company Orsay Physics. In addition to electron and ion columns, the microscope can be configured with gas injection systems, nanomanipulators, secondary electron detectors, backscatter detectors, secondary ion detectors, cathodoluminescence detectors, and energy-dispersive and electron backscatter diffraction microanalyzers. The use of a xenon plasma source for the focused ion beam allows the FERA3 to satisfy high-resolution focused ion beam requirements (imaging, fine milling/polishing) as well as to produce the high ion currents needed for ultrafast material removal rates. The resolution of the plasma ion beam is <100 nm, and the maximum xenon ion current is >1 µA. The company says that, compared to existing FIB technologies with gallium sources, the material removal rate achievable for silicon with the plasma FIB is more than 30 times faster. This speed renders the FERA3 XMH well suited for applications requiring the removal of large volumes of material, particularly in semiconductor packaging where through-silicon via technology is used. Applications include inspection of integrated circuit packaging, circuit edit, 3-D metrology, defect analysis and failure analysis.