Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology
NanoFab System from ZEISS SMT

Multiple ion beams – one system Multi-ion beam microscope for applications in the sub-10 nm range

Precise validation and prototyping

Next generation semiconductor structures

For next generation semiconductor structures

New circuit architectures and new processes and materials allow ever higher transistor density. Thus, the limit of what is technologically feasible is shifting and the scalability of components continues to increase. With each generation of photolithographic exposure systems, the demands on metrology and 3D tomography to provide semiconductor manufacturing with reliable design validation, prototype development and 3D analysis also increase.

display of NanoFab

Faster change

With ZEISS NanoFab, a multi-ion beam platform, ZEISS SMT enables efficient measurements and adjustments of semiconductor structures through uncomplicated switching between neon and helium ion beams in one system. For more precision. For more speed. For the next technological breakthrough.

Precision in the nanometer range

  • 0,5 nm

    High-resolution live imaging of samples with 0.5 nm resolution

  • <10 nm

    Precise fabrication of structures smaller than 10 nm

  • 3 beams

    Helium and neon column in one system – with option to integrate a gallium FIB

Globally unique multi ion beam platform

Multiple Ion Beam System

First commercially available multi ion beam system

The NanoFab is an evolution of the industry-leading gas field ion source (GFIS) technology and features a single-column dual beam system that allows focused helium or neon ion beams to be generated in the same GFIS column. A gallium FIB column can be optionally integrated.


Application highlights of ZEISS NanoFab

Nanolithography from ZEISS SMT

Gallium-free nanolithography

Conventional focused gallium ion beams (gallium FIB) can usually only ablate structures in the micrometer range. The NanoFab, on the other hand, allows uninterrupted switching between gallium, neon and helium beams. The neon beam efficiently processes nanostructures down to 10 nanometers, with high speed as well as high throughput. Very fine structures of less than 10 nanometers can be produced using helium beams. Contamination due to deposits can also be avoided when using neon and helium ion beams.

3D characterization for failure analysis

Error analysis in real time

Defect localization with simultaneous 3D characterization allow defects to be displayed in detail and in real time thanks to live imaging. This enables highly precise troubleshooting of the test samples. With a resolution of 0.5 nm and a high depth of field with analog passive voltage contrast due to the use of the helium and neon ion beams, the smallest surface defects can be localized.

IC components NanoFab ZEISS SMT

Shorter time-to-market for IC components below 10 nm

Nanofabrication is performed with high machining fidelity without having to change masks – thereby saving time. Precise cutting and material removal can also be used to perform nanometer-level circuit matching and validate prototypes.


Process analysis of finest structures

Process analysis of smallest structures

Due to the highest surface sensitivity, even the thinnest materials can be examined for their quality and the smallest structures can be traced by means of a high depth of field. For additional enhanced edge contrasts in the millionths range (ppm), an optional secondary electron detection (SIMS) module can be integrated.

Ion beams enable high resolution imaging

Fast, precise, high resolution

The NanoFab is the only platform in the world that covers the complete range of applications from micro to nano machining in one system. ZEISS allows researchers to perform precise, fast processing and detailed imaging with enormous spatial resolution.

Localized beam-sample interaction for high image resolution

Localized beam-sample interaction for higher resolution images

When an ion beam strikes a surface, it is subjected to a beam scattering effect caused by interaction with the surrounding material. This results in the emission of secondary ions from a region slightly larger than the size of the beam itself. The smaller the area of surface interaction, the higher the ultimate image resolution will be. When helium ion beams now strike the sample, there is no scattering on the sample surface in the immediate vicinity. This leads to a reduction of surface interactions and at the same time to a much higher resolution of the images in the helium ion microscope.

Beam focus

Ultra-accurate beam focus

NanoFab uses focused ion beams to produce images of the sample with a resolution of 0.5 nanometers in the same system used for production. This allows five to ten times greater depth of field compared to images acquired with field emission scanning electron microscopes (FE-SEM) – with higher surface sensitivity. NanoFab particularly excels in imaging non-conductive samples due to charge compensation technology.

GFIS technology as schematic representation

Higher quality with gas field ion technology

NanoFab is a multiple ion beam system based on the gas field ion source (GFIS). Helium (or neon) is supplied under vacuum to a cryogenically-cooled, polished iridium tip, which is positively charged in its bias with respect to a grounded counter electrode. A patented process, is used to alter the metal tip so that only three atoms remain at the end of the tip (known as a trimmer). Under strong positive bias voltage, the trimmer emits three beams of helium or neon ions. One of these ion beams is aligned and focused by the column optics then forms the helium or neon beam.


    • Anderol-497

      Pages: 11
      File size: 375 KB
    • Compressed Chlorine

      Pages: 10
      File size: 3 MB
    • Compressed Helium

      Pages: 10
      File size: 2 MB
    • Compressed Neon-Ne20

      Pages: 8
      File size: 1 MB
    • Compressed Neon

      Pages: 8
      File size: 1 MB
    • Compressed Oxygen

      Pages: 11
      File size: 2 MB
    • Gallium ingot

      Pages: 7
      File size: 1 MB
    • Liquid Nitrogen LN2

      Pages: 11
      File size: 2 MB
    • Pentamethylcyclopentasiloxane PMCPS

      Pages: 5
      File size: 1 MB
    • Pumpoil LVO200

      Pages: 10
      File size: 297 KB
    • Pumpoil LVO700

      Pages: 9
      File size: 278 KB
    • Tungstenhexacarbonyl Precursor WCO

      Pages: 5
      File size: 2 MB

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.
NanoFab combines up to three ion beams in just one system. This enables highly efficient defect localization, troubleshooting and rapid prototyping. For further information please contact our experts.