True Large-Area Image Acquisition with CHIPSCANNER

Large-area, ultra-high-resolution 3D SEM imaging applications in life sciences (for example, connectomics), chip reverse engineering, and materials science need surfaces of up to cm² areas to be scanned with nanometer resolution and excellent layer to layer accuracy (‘3D stitching’) for 3D modeling or schematic and layout extraction. Standard SEM instruments are basically limited by small, uncalibrated fields of view (FOVs) and inexact sample positioning.

On the other hand, the CHIPSCANNER addresses these challenges by incorporating the flexibility and resolution of an SEM instrument with the accuracy, stability and automation of an electron beam lithography (EBL) instrument. High-resolution, large-area image mosaics are developed by capturing sequential SEM images and then stitching them together for further analysis, while the field-of-view calibration and laser interferometer stage reduce concomitant computing and overlap.

With its exceptional blend of high-resolution SEM imaging, multiple electron detectors, laser interferometer stage positioning and FOV calibration, CHIPSCANNER is capable of developing the most accurate high-resolution, large-area images directly taken by an SEM instrument. Since the absolute position of every single pixel even over cm² is ultimately known to the accuracy afforded by the laser interferometer stage, it is possible for these images to be stacked (3D-stitched) with the maximum possible accuracy.

CHIPSCANNER Product Details

Main Application

  • Chip design recovery
  • IP protection
  • Layout reconstruction
  • Anti-counterfeiting analysis
  • Chip obsolescence management

Column Technology

  • Electron
  • Inlense SE detector
  • Gemini
  • 30 kV
  • Inlense BSE detector option


  • Large Z travel
  • 2” – 8”

True large-area SEM: The laser interferometer stage and field-of-view correction minimizes overlap and concomitant computing resulting in higher stability and better results.

True large-area SEM: The laser interferometer stage and field-of-view correction minimizes overlap and concomitant computing resulting in higher stability and better results. Image credit: Raith

  • Calibrated images
  • Minimum image overlap
  • Superior layer to layer accuracy (laser interferometer controlled stage)

Large-Area Image Mosaics with Highest Stitching Accuracy

Calibrated image scans of up to 50,000 x 50,000 pixels decrease the number of seams and images while still decreasing pixel sizes. Sample pre-leveling technologies, integral temperature stabilization (optional) and height-sensor-based focus correction deliver homogenous large-area image mosaics with least stitching errors. The extremely high beam current stability additionally supplies very stable contrast/brightness values. Finally, the ultra-high performance at low kV permits imaging of charging semiconductors and sensitive biological samples.

Based on the specific stage travel range, it is possible to load multiple samples and automatically derive image mosaics without user interaction. Software tools are available to extract and improve valuable GDSII-CAD data from the images for extra semiconductor processing.

With its high accuracy, stability and resolution, CHIPSCANNER is considered to be the perfect large-area imaging SEM solution whenever a high-resolution SEM image analysis of huge areas is wanted, for example in IC reverse engineering applications or biological applications such as brain mapping.

CHIPSCANNER Applications

5 by 5 SEM images (30 µm field of view each) of a DRAM device displayed using mosaic functionality for IC reverse engineering

5 by 5 SEM images

Zoom into image data (left) at higher resolution displaying the negligible stitching error indicated by the green vertical line

negligible stitching error

A 1.6 mm x 0.7 mm large area cross section of spinal cord with high-resolution images extracted, captured with 100 µm x 100 µm corrected FOVs (Image Credts: George Washington University)

cross section of spinal cord

Section of motor neurons of the same spinal cord (Image Credits: George Washington University)

motor neurons of the same spinal cord

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