Introduction of EDS analysis into TEM automation.

Leuven - Master projects/internships
Meer dan twee weken geleden

Bringing chemical analysis into the CMOS industry for high throughput and precision by automated electron microscopy.

Since Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) industry is moving into the era of atomic scale engineering comes the need to image the structures to a spatial resolution beyond atomic dimensions. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) have become the imaging techniques of choice when the best possible spatial resolution is needed. It is also possible to combine the spatial resolution information with nanometer-scale elemental mapping with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS).

While CMOS processing costs increasing with every new node, the pressure to analyze faster and more complex structures is evident. The reduced dimensions of the latest Logic and Memory devices is pushing the limits of traditional techniques such as Critical Dimension SEM. The natural step is to move these characterizations to a TEM-based methodology. Up to now TEM was considered as a lab-based technique for providing data of high accuracy but of limited statistical significance. In addition, industry related tasks require high throughput and precision. A first step to tackle these challenges is the introduction of automated TEM workflows that can be used to answer the new needs for integration flow development.  This methodology was recently introduced into the pilot line of imec. Our team is devoted to the research and development of automated sample preparation, automated TEM inspections and automated metrology. One of the next steps is to add the EDS analysis to the automation platform.

In this master thesis topic, the student will contribute in introducing EDS into the automated TEM workflow.

A suitable candidate should have an interest in microscopy and data analysis.

The main research objectives are:

  • Quantitative comparison of manual EDS software (Esprit) and automation EDS software (Velox)
  • Optimize protocol of Velox software
  • Explore the possibilities of EDS automation in TEM inspections
  • Develop TEM automation recipes for EDS analysis for different TEM samples
  • Develop an automated reporting for the EDS results

Preferred competences and skills of the candidate:

  • Proficiency in programming, preferable MATLAB
  • Abstract and critical thinking
  • Image analysis experience 
  • Writing and communication skills
  • Interest in experimental work

Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 6-12 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Computer Science, Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Physics

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Gerardo Tadeo Martinez Alanis (

Only for self-supporting students

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