Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology
ZEISS 3D Metrology Workstation

Making complex structures intelligently visible Future-proof microchip development

(Un)imaginably small and precise

3D tomography for semiconductor manufacturing Metrology and process control

Moore's law is alive and well: The number of transistors on a microchip is growing continuously. They are becoming ever more compact and powerful. If you no longer want to analyze memory chips in nanofine 2D structures, but in spatial 3D structures, then this places particularly high demands on process control. This applies both to the production of NAND gates, as used in SSD hard disks, but also to the production of memory chips with DRAM technology, which are mostly used as working memory. This also increases the challenges for metrology (measurement technology) and validation in semiconductor manufacturing processes.

3D analysis from ZEISS

Metrology Workstation

Previous 2D imaging and analysis techniques are no longer sufficient for today's complex and small microchips. ZEISS empowers chipmakers worldwide with process control systems such as 3D tomography, which combines high-resolution 3D imaging technology with live imaging and the highest throughput data-driven analysis platform. For 3D high-throughput analysis and sample preparation. For process development and failure analysis. For the validation of state-of-the-art semiconductor memory manufacturing processes with 3D tomography.

Unique in the world

  • 0,9 nm

    SEM resolution at the coincidence point at 15 kiloelectron volts (keV)

  • 1,8 nm

    SEM resolution at the coincidence point at 1 kiloelectron volts (keV)


  • 1 nA - 100 pA

    SEM beam current

  • 300 mm

    Sample size of the wafers

The scalpel for complex semiconductor structures

The 3D Metrology Workstation from ZEISS

The 3D Metrology Workstation allows the volume of microchips to be sampled, analyzed and validated with nanometer accuracy using FIB tomography. ZEISS relies on a high-resolution 3D imaging process in combination with an intelligent analysis platform.

Product Highlights

FIB-SEM combination

FIB-SEM combination

Randomly exposed wafers are removed from chip production. The Focussed Ion Beam (FIB) microscope is the heart – the "scalpel" – of the 3D Metrology Workstation. This focused ion beam cuts out random samples at various points on the wafer, whose three-dimensional nanostructures are then precisely examined using a scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM).

All in one device

ZEISS brings all the steps of high-resolution 3D analysis under one roof: specimen preparation, structure and defect detection, 3D analysis – all in one device. The modular platform concept and powerful reconstruction and analysis software of this 3D Metrology Workstation enable high-throughput process control, structural inspection and failure analysis.

AI helps with analysis and troubleshooting

Artificial intelligence is also used here, as the workstation learns from previous analysis results and thus constantly feeds its own wealth of experience. In other words, high statistical significance can be achieved with few samples. This in turn allows valid conclusions to be drawn about the quality of the entire process chain.

High resolution 3D display

Overcoming complex process challenges

The highest slicing sharpness in its class for a maximum voxel count (3D resolution). With fully automated volume acquisition, in an extremely wide-angle field of view, and intuitive workflow, the workstation provides valuable insights for metrology and defect detection in the manufacturing of 3D memory chips.

Highest resolution and precision

The 3D Metrology Workstation succeeds in measuring complete 3D profiles, evaluating structural properties and generating a solid statistical database in the process. Highly complex structures can be inspected from any direction in highest 3D resolution with simultaneous high signal-to-noise ratio. This makes it possible to identify even the smallest defects in structures.

The intuitive platform for 3D workflows

Powerful hardware and software package

ZEISS Atlas 5

Intelligent, integrated, intuitive

The Atlas 5 platform from ZEISS allows the capacities of the 3D Metrology Workstation to be expanded. Market-leading solution for fast and accurate tomography speeds up acquisition by scanning only relevant volumes. In the shortest possible time, the required amount of information is represented by large mosaic tiles, with simultaneous multichannel acquisition. The modular architecture, scripting interface of the workflow engine and scalable hardware architecture make customization possible. The sample-centric, correlative environment provides integrated, cross-technology workflows.

Anything is imaginable – a lot is possible

ZEISS empowers manufacturers worldwide with lithography optics and process control systems for semiconductor manufacturing. With increasing complexity, new materials and the miniaturization of semiconductor structures, the demands on metrology and process control systems are also rising.

The 3D Metrology Workstation is a FIB-SEM combination for non-destructive 3D imaging that can sample, analyze and validate volumes of microchips using FIB tomography. For further information please contact our experts.