electron microscope


The active PC based Digital Image Scanning System can be connected to any Scanning Electron Microscope,

Fig. 1 Cross section picture taken from an IC with an "old" Philips 501 SEM (W- electron source) @ 50,000X Magnification and WinDISS Digital System at El-Sol Laboratories, Natanya, Israel.

Fig. 1 Cross section picture taken from an IC with an "old" Philips 501 SEM (W- electron source) @ 50,000X Magnification and WinDISS Digital System at El-Sol Laboratories, Natanya, Israel.

Transmission Electron Microscope, Electron Microprobe,Ultra High Vacuum Electron Gun and Ion Probe of the various manufacturers. All functions of the electron-optical devices remain available. During the digital image acquisition the WinDISS plugin card switches the microscope to external beam control (the internal scanning generator is switched off and the beam control is taken over from WinDISS). The external beam control generates X and Y scanning voltages for every image position, digitizes the analog image video signals (up to 4 channels) and counts the x-ray pulses from an EDX system for mappings simultaneously (up to 9 hardware channels and up to 64 software channels). The application of a fast 16 bit micro processor on a PC plugin card and extensive software options allows many combinations by choosing signal sources, scanning modes, scanning velocities, video resolutions and video formats.The digitized images can be edited, measured, printed and saved. A layout technique helps managing images which belong together (like mappings) or by preparing print exemplars.

sheme1System Overview

SEM PC plug-in card
    high performance A/D, D/A board with 16 bit, 20 MHz micro processor and8k x 16 byte FIFO buffering

  • communication between PC and micro processor via 1k x 8 static DPRAM
  • 16 bit bus for fast video data transfer
  • PC interrupt on half filled data buffers
  • RS232 interface
  • expansion port for user specific applications
Signal inputs for analog video signals
    4 difference inputs, 2 x fast scan and slow scan, 2 x slow scan

  • gain and offset adjustable for every channel separately
    integrators (triggerd with pixel clock) for better signal-to-noise ratio
  • integration time per pixel in slow scan mode adjustable from 5 micro-sec up to 1 ms
  • 2 x 12 bit A/D converter with 1.6 micro-sec converting time
  • +/- 1 LSB total error at measurements in slow scan mode with integrators
Analog outputs for external beam control
    2 x 12 bit D/A converter with 1.5 micro-sec converting time gain, offset and polarity adjustable for every channel separately

  • two additional D/A converters available as an option
Counter inputs for mapping and special applications
    9 x 16 bit counters with max. 20 MHz counting frequency, TTL inputs

  • quarz precise gate times from 3 micro-sec to 10 s
  • 4 x 16 bit counter board with max. 100 MHz counting frequency; own time base for special applications, triggered with pixel clock (option)
Digital in- and outputs
    8 buffered digital outputs

  • 2 potential-free trigger contacts for external scan and external blanking
  • trigger input for synchronization the image acquisition with interfering fields
External beam control
    variable scanning resolution and video formats up to 4096 x 4096 pixels, free configurable

  • horizontal line scan
  • point measurement: electron beam free positionalble
    extended point measurement (option): beam positions can be set up free, along a line or within a selectable image range (automatic quantitative point mesurement)
  • video frequency in fast scan mode: 5 frames per second (video size 320 x 240 pixels)
Digitalization of the video signals
    fast scan with max. 2 analog signals simultaneous, converting tome 1.6 micro-sec per pixel, 12 bit resolution

  • slow scan with up to 4 analog signals simultaneous, integration time from 5 micro-sec to1 ms, 12 bit resolution
  • mappings with up to 9 elements simultaneous, measurement time from 3 micro-sec to 10 s per pixel, 16 bit resolution, mapping via DDE interface with up to 64 elements
  • impulse inputs for mappings with analog inputs free combinable
  • improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio by frame averaging, signal integration on every pixel (triggered with pixel clock) and accumulation
  • brightness, contrast and color palette presetable for every image, automatic brightness and contrast adjustment during image acquisition possible
Comment, SEM parameters
  • input of an image comment or selection from an history list during the image acquistion possible
  • automatic labelling of mappings via DDE
  • SEM parameters receivable via RS232 interface or special micro controller interface (option)
  • manual input of SEM parameters
Special image acquisition functions
    profile measurements simultaneous for all available video signals, measurement line vertical positionalbe on a recorded image, various view options, profile display as seperate diagrams, automatic scaling, preserve of the raw data (12 bit with analog signals, 16 bit with impulse inputs), data export to ASCII or EXCEL file possible

  • adjust scan for optimal focus adjustment and astigmatism correction, also at lowest beam current; on an acquired image a region window with live video display is positionable; live hardware zoom; frame averaging with selectable filter level; variable window size
  • recording of video streams and saving as AVI file (option); the image acquisition runs continuously in fast or slow scan mode with the set-up record parameters; recorded sequences are displayable with associated measurement parameters in slow or fast motion; interesting frames are extractable as single image
  • recording of standard video signals (CCD camera, in color or B/W) with a framegrabber board; live display, frame averaging (option)
  • recording of non-standard video signals (in color or B/W with up to 4000 x 4000 pixels) (option)
Image processing functions
    changing of brightness, contrast and color tables (false color display), histogram equalization

  • matrix filter funktions (up to 7 x 7) by local operators for smoothing or sharpening of images or emphasize edges
  • invert, add or subtract images (for example SE + BS or BS + mapping or SE +BSD +EBIC)
  • false color display and merging of mappings
  • zoom funktion
  • measurement of objects in X, Y and any desired direction, calibration is done by SEM magnification and an internal calibration constant, calibration is saved together with the image data
  • measurement of angleand radii
  • image labelling (positionable): results of measurement function or any other text
  • image caption with comment, SEM parameters and micron bar
  • image output on all by the operating system supported printers
  • buildup of print layouts from various images (also with zoom for detail view)
  • line profile data of images are displayed as separate diagram, the data are saved together with the image and can be exported to an ASCII or EXCEL file
  • images with quantitative EDX analysis results: alle analysis results are shown in a table and saved together with the image; the point related correlation of measurement result and image position is achieved by measurement point indices; table with analysis results can be saved is separately
Saving and loading of images and layouts
    supported image formats: BMP, TIFF (8 bit, 16 bit), JPEG (only export)

  • in 8 bit TIF format, images and layouts are saved with all additional information; after loading a previous saved layout, each contained image can still be edited separately
  • in 16 bit TIF format the raw data of the image acquisition can be saved
  • image preview
  • Image Browser for easy image/layout management with display of image comment and SEM parameters
Supply, installation
  • PC plug-in card, cable set (SEM specific), CD with software, handbook, additional software licenses, PC hardware, print hardware
  • installation at the SEM (EDX/WDX), network connection, briefing
  • optimization of WinDISS for special applications

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