FEI Company

Eindhoven, Netherlands

FEI Company

Eindhoven, Netherlands
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Patent
FEI Company | Date: 2017-04-05

Methods, apparatuses, and systems for slice and view processing of samples with dual beam systems. The slice and view processing includes exposing a vertical wall of a trench formed in a sample surface; capturing a first image of the wall by interrogating the wall with an interrogating beam while the wall is at a first orientation relative to the beam; capturing a second image of the wall by interrogating the wall with the beam while the wall is at a second orientation relative to the beam, wherein first distances in the first image between a reference point and surface points on the wall are different than second distances in the second image between the reference point and the surface points; determining elevations of the surface points using the first distances and the second distances; and fitting a curve to topography of the wall using the elevations.


Patent
FEI Company | Date: 2017-05-17

When detecting particulate radiation, such as electrons, with a pixelated detector, a cloud of electron/hole pairs is formed in the detector. Using the signal caused by this cloud of electron/hole pairs a position of the impact is estimated. Inventors found that, when the size of the cloud is comparable to the pixel size, or much smaller, the estimated position shows a strong bias to the center of the pixel and the corners, as well to the middle of the borders. This hinders forming an image with super-resolution. By shifting the position or by attributing the electron to several sub-pixels this bias can be countered, resulting in a more truthful representation. Inventors further found that by spreading the image Moir-effects and interferences in the image can be countered. As long as the image is a sparse image (almost all pixels representing one or no impact) this spreading is a reversible process. After spreading (effectively a spatial low-pass filtering) a high-pass filtering may be used to crisp the image. It is noted that shifting and/or spreading the information over several image pixels should take place before adding the events per image pixel. When said spreading is done after combining detector images, information is lost. It is noted that shifting cannot take place after combining detector images.


Patent
FEI Company | Date: 2017-05-17

Systems and methods for controlling an imaging device are disclosed. In one aspect, a method determines a set of control parameters for the imaging device, and acquires an image based on the set of control parameters. The method determines a plurality of image quality measurements of the first image. A polygon may be displayed on an electronic display based on a plurality of image quality measurements. For example, positions of polygon vertices may be determined relative to an origin point based on corresponding image quality measurements. In some aspects, input may be received from a user interface indicating a change in position of one or more of the vertices and the corresponding image quality measurements. In some aspects, a new set of control parameters may then be determined to achieve the changed image quality measurement(s). In some aspects a composite measure of the image quality measurements may also be displayed.


Patent
FEI Company | Date: 2017-02-22

A method of investigating a specimen (S) using a tomographic imaging apparatus comprising:- A specimen holder, for holding the specimen;- A source (Sx), for producing a beam (B) of radiation that can be directed at the specimen (S);- A detector (D), for detecting a flux of radiation transmitted through the specimen (S) from the source (Sx);- A stage apparatus (A), for producing relative motion of the source (Sx) with respect to the specimen (S), so as to allow the source (Sx) and detector (D) to image the specimen (S) along a series of different viewing axes (V_(i));- A processing apparatus, for performing a mathematical reconstruction step whereby output from the detector is compiled into a tomographic image of at least part of the specimen (S),wherein said reconstruction step is performed in multiple iterations, which comprise the following steps:(i) Using a Back Projection technique to produce an initial tomogram from a set of initial images;(ii) Subjecting said initial tomogram to a mathematical filtering operation, thereby producing an adjusted tomogram;(iii) Using a Forward Projection technique on said adjusted tomogram to dissociate it into a set of calculated images;(iv) Repeating steps (i)-(iii) until said calculated images satisfy an acceptance criterion. It is also provided a scanning electron microscope (1) including an in-situ computerised tomography (CT) module (7) for performing CT inspection in-situ inside the chamber of the microscope (1).


A method of using a Charged Particle Microscope, comprising:- A specimen holder, for holding a specimen;- A source, for producing an irradiating beam of charged particles;- An illuminator, for directing said beam so as to irradiate the specimen;- A detector, for detecting a flux of emergent radiation emanating from the specimen in response to said irradiation,additionally comprising the following steps:- In said illuminator, providing an aperture plate comprising an array of apertures;- Using a deflecting device to scan said beam across said array, thereby alternatingly interrupting and transmitting the beam so as to produce a train of beam pulses;- Irradiating said specimen with said train of pulses, and using said detector to perform positionally resolved (temporally discriminated) detection of the attendant emergent radiation.


A method of investigating a specimen using a tomographic imaging apparatus comprising:- A specimen holder, for holding the specimen;- A source, for producing a beam of radiation that can be directed at the specimen;- A detector, for detecting a flux of radiation transmitted through the specimen from the source;- A stage apparatus, for producing relative motion of the source with respect to the specimen, so as to allow the source and detector to image the specimen along a series of different viewing axes;- A processing apparatus, for assembling output from the detector into a tomographic image of at least part of the specimen, which method comprises the following steps:(i) Acquiring a set of input images of the specimen taken at a corresponding set of source positions relative to the specimen, which source positions are intended to lie on an ideal locus but are instead caused by positioning errors to lie on a distorted locus;(ii) Using said input images to construct an initial tomographic image;(iii) Dissociating said initial tomographic image into a set of reference images referenced to said ideal locus;(iv) Comparing given input images to corresponding reference images, and calculating a set of transformations necessary to map the former onto the latter;(v) Using said set of transformations to construct a modified tomographic image.


Patent
FEI Company | Date: 2017-02-01

The invention relates to a micro-chamber for inspecting sample material, the sample material immersed in a liquid when filling the micro-chamber, the micro-chamber comprising: an inspection volume (101) for holding the sample material, the inspection volume defined by:o a first rigid layer (102A+102B),o a second rigid layer (103A+103B) spaced from the first rigid layer, ando a hermetic seal (104) between the first and the second rigid layers,Characterized in that,prior to filling the inspection chamber with the liquid with immersed sample material, a thin part (105) of at least one of the rigid layers separates the inspection volume from the outside, the thin part is equipped to be punctured, and the inspection volume is an evacuated volume,as a result of which the liquid with immersed sample material, when placed upon the thin part, is sucked into the inspection volume when the thin part is punctured. This results in a micro-chamber that can be filled with sample material without the need of applying vacuum tubings to it.


A scanning-type Charged Particle Microscope, comprising:- A specimen holder, for holding a specimen;- A source, for producing a beam of charged particles;- An illuminator, for directing said beam so as to irradiate the specimen;- A detector, for detecting a flux of radiation emanating from the specimen in response to said irradiation;- Scanning means, for producing relative scanning motion of the beam and specimen so as to cause the beam to trace out a scan path on the specimen;- A programmable controller that can be invoked to execute at least one automated procedure in the microscope,wherein:- Said scan pattern comprises a sequence of nested orbital windings (W1-W6) about a central point of the pattern;- A radius of said windings initially changes with a first sign (W1-W3) and subsequently changes with a second, opposite sign (W4-W6).


A method and apparatus for directing light or gas or both to a specimen positioned within about 2 mm from the lower end of a charged particle beam column. The charged particle beam column assembly includes a platform defining a specimen holding position and has a set of electrostatic lenses each including a set of electrodes. The assembly includes a final electrostatic lens that includes a final electrode that is closest to the specimen holding position. This final electrode defines at least one internal passageway having a terminus that is proximal to and directed toward the specimen holding position.


Patent
FEI Company and UChicago Argonne LLC | Date: 2017-03-29

A charged-particle microscope, comprising:- A source, for producing a beam of charged particles that propagate along a particle-optical axis;- A specimen holder, for holding a specimen on a sample plane S extending perpendicular to said particle-optical axis;- An illuminator, for directing said beam so as to irradiate the specimen;- An imaging system, for receiving a flux of charged particles transmitted through the specimen and directing it onto a sensor;- A detector arrangement D, for detecting a flux of X-rays emanating from the specimen in response to said irradiation, said detector arrangement comprising a group of discrete sub-detectors D arranged along mutually different measurement directions relative to the specimen holder,whereby:- A first pole piece 60 is located proximal a first side of the sample plane, being an extremal pole piece of said illuminator;- A second pole piece 80 is located proximal a second side of the sample plane, being an extremal pole piece of said imaging system;- Each of said pole pieces has substantially the form of a truncated cone, which tapers toward the sample plane and terminates in a respective truncation surface 63,83,wherein the group of sub-detectors D is mobile, and can be:- Deployed into a measurement configuration, for the purpose of detecting said X-ray flux;- Retracted into a stowed configuration, when not being used to detect said X-ray flux;whereby, in said measurement configuration:- A first sub-group of said sub-detectors is located at said first side of the sample plane, outside a first perimeter formed by perpendicular projection of said first truncation surface 63 onto the sample plane;- A second sub-group of said sub-detectors is located at said second side of the sample plane, outside a second perimeter formed by perpendicular projection of said second truncation surface 83 onto the sample plane.

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