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Software enables SEM analysis of multi-layer structures without cross-sectioning
August 12, 2017
Source: ASM International
Bruker Nano Analytics, Oak Park, Ill., introduces XMethod, the world's first software package for the analysis of composition and thickness of single or multiple layers, based on data obtained by sample excitation with the XTrace micro-focus X-ray source for scanning electron microscopes. The software enables the characterization of thin films and multi-layer structures of thickness ranging from a few nanometers up to 40 microns, without the need for cross sectioning the sample.
Compared to sample excitation with high-energy electrons, X-ray excitation yields significantly improved limits of detection, especially for higher-Z elements, and also enables obtaining information on the material several tens of microns beneath the surface. These features make XMethod in combination with XTrace the ideal tool for thickness and composition analysis of layer stacks in the SEM. Typical layer thickness applications include the analysis of connector pins or solder bumps on printed circuit boards, lead frames, and chip carriers, as well as coatings on solar cells.
The XMethod software contains a powerful method editor, which allows the creation of standardless or standard-based multi-layer quantification methods and their calibration.
According to Andreas Kahl, Senior Director Product Management at Bruker's Nano Analytics Division, "As a leading provider of stand-alone Micro-XRF instruments, we take pride in the fact that with the introduction of XMethod, the SEM user can now also take advantage of the Micro-XRF technology for the analysis of thin films, multilayer structures or coatings".
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