Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM)
Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) are closely related techniques that use an electron beam to image a sample. High energy electrons, incident on ultra-thin samples allow for image resolutions that are on the order of 1-2Å. Compared to SEM, TEM and STEM have better spatial resolution and are capable of additional analytical measurements, but require significantly more sample preparation.
Although more time consuming than many other common analytical tools, the wealth of information available from TEM and STEM analyses is impressive. Not only can outstanding image resolution be obtained, it is also possible to characterize crystallographic phase, crystallographic orientation (by diffraction mode experiments), produce elemental maps (using EDS or EELS), and obtain images that highlight elemental contrast (dark field mode). These can all be done from nm sized areas that can be precisely located. STEM and TEM are the ultimate failure analysis tools for thin film and IC samples.
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- Identification of nm sized defects on integrated circuits, including embedded particles and residues at the bottom of vias.
- Determination of crystallographic phases as a function of distance from an interface.
- Nanoparticle characterization: Core/shell investigations, agglomeration, effects of annealing...
- Catalyst support coverage.
- Ultra small area elemental maps.
- III-V super lattice characterization
- Crystal defect characterization
Signal Detected: Transmitted electrons, scattered electrons, secondary electrons, x-rays
Elements Detected: B-U (EDS)
Detection Limits: 0.1-1at%
Imaging/Mapping: Yes (EDS, EELS)
Ultimate Lateral Resolution: <0.2nm
- The ultimate elemental mapping resolution of any analytical technique.
- Sub 0.2nm (2Å) image resolution.
- Small area crystallographic information
- Significant sample preparation time
- Samples are often prepared that are <100nm
- Some materials not stable to electron beam
- Compound Semiconductors
- Intergrated circuit
- Magnetic media
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