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  • Hitachi Markets Microscope for 0.10-0.13 Micron ICs
  • March 12, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Hitachi Ltd. developed the HD-2000 microscopic instrument to view 0.10-0.13 micronmeter rule microchips or integrated circuits.
    The new instrument reportedly makes it as easy to see those parts as does a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

    To date, it has been necessary to use a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to observe such a thin film. Sample preparation for the TEM, however, has been so difficult that a specialized technician needed to do it.

    The new instrument is easy enough for a wafer process engineer to use, Hitachi officials said.

    The new instrument provides transmitted electrons to observe the thin film, irradiating the sample with a sharpened electron beam. Unlike TEM, in which the sample has to be irradiated broadly with electron beams, the electron-beam intensity can easily be increased to be free from the preparation of thin films that was required for TEM observation.

    TEM uses a fluorescent plate to produce a transmitted electron image. The present instrument uses a high-sensitive detector to provide electric signals of transmitted electrons. Consequently, it is possible to fine-tune observations by watching a monitor screen, similar to the procedure for a SEM.

    Its resolution is 0.4nm, and magnification is 1-2,000,000. The maximum sample size is 4mm x 0.5mm x 0.3mm. The acceleration voltage is 200 kV. It is priced at 160 million yen (US$1.26 million).

    More information is available in English at: http://www.hitachi.co.jp/New/cnews/E/980303B.html

    (Nikkei Microdevices)

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    Updated: Wed Mar 11 20:03:06 1998