R&D Capabilities

Electron Beam Analytical Laboratory

The Electron Beam Analytical Laboratory was established late 2011. The laboratory is equipped with the multi-million dollar Defect Analyzer (Dual Beam FIB-SEM), Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM), and Field-Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM). These state-of-the-art equipment allow scientists to characterize various aspects of materials, such as surface and cross-section morphology, crystallography (by diffraction mode experiments), elemental analysis (by EDS or EELS), elemental contrast imaging (by BSE, dark field mode or STEM), and chemical binding states (by EELS). The main focus of the laboratory is on micro-/nano-structural analysis of materials and devices for data storage and non-volatile memory applications. The atomic resolution capabilities of the equipment offer a direct visualization of ultra-small features on or within the devices that cannot be achieved by other analytical techniques.


• FESEM imaging, nano-probing, and elemental analysis 
   - Stage bias for charging sample
   - STEM detector
   - EDX detector
   - RBEI (backscatter electron) detector
   - Zyvex S100 nanomanipulator

• 12” compatible DA300 FIB cross-section imaging, STEM and TEM sample preparation 
   - STEM detector
   - SDD LN2-free EDX detector 
   - Omniprobe nanomanipulator 
   - Metal deposition/ion milling
   - Rapid navigation stage and wafer map

• Tecnai F20 TEM and STEM imaging 
 - HAADF STEM detector
 - EDX point, line profile and mapping analysis
 - Gatan Quantum EELS module with DualEELS and Fast mapping 
 - TrueImage and TrueCrystal packages
 - Nanobeam diffraction mode


Our micro/nanostructure analytical techniques have been widely applied to various aspects of hard disk drive and non-volatile memory materials and devices.

• Hard disk drive:
 - FIB sample preparation of slider reader sensor and TEM analysis of DLC overcoat
 - EELS analysis of DLC overcoat
 - FIB sample preparation and TEM/EDX/EELS analysis of hard disk media thin film stack
 - Microstructure and chemical analysis for hard disk motor

• Non-volatile memory:
 - FIB sample preparation and failure analysis for memory cell down to 15 nm size
 - Microstructure and chemical analysis for phase-change materials and devices, magnetic tunnel junction
   thin film stack and devices, and resistive random-access memory materials and devices

• Microstructure and chemical analysis for patterned media and nanoparticle arrays

• Nanopatterning for nanophotonics research

• Failure analysis and process monitoring for
 - Non-volatile memory
 - Hard disk drive
 - Semiconductor and optoelectronics materials and devices