Techinsights invests for 3nm node

  • A new Raith CHIPSCANNER
  • A new Ion Beam Etcher
  • A new TALOS TEM from ThermoFisher (formerly FEI)

“The Raith CHIPSCANNER will ‘future proof’ us, furthering TechInsights’ ability to image at the 3nm node,” says the company, “fortunately, we don’t expect that horizontal scaling will continue past the 3nm node; we expect instead that we will see more compact circuitry with more active layers, and continued 3D scaling. With the right sample preparation techniques, we will be able to delayer at 3nm and beyond – thanks in large part to the next investment.”

High resolution TEM imageFigure 1: High resolution TEM image of transistor “fin”.


“The 2nd generation Ion Beam Etcher (IBE) will give us more options for delayering chips,” adds Techinsights, “as more advanced process techniques are being used at smaller nodes, fabrication techniques are becoming more exotic. This new IBE will provide more flexibility in chemistries, ion beam configurations, and end-point detection.

“A TEM – transmission electron microscope – allows us to see at extreme resolution,” says the company, “we already have a decent in-house TEM, but with geometries shrinking on chips and more exotic materials being used to fabricate them, the one we have is starting to ‘age out’ of the cutting-edge technology game.”

The  TALOS TEM will improve  resolution – allowing smaller features to be seen more clearly, and to identify materials (elements) more precisely. Stability is also a factor. TEMs like the TALOS will allow the company’s TEM experts to “dwell” in very specific areas without the electron beam (or sample) drifting, causing distortions in  images and measurements.


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