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Microscopy resolution record claimed by Carl Zeiss

22 November 2008 | By Mark Osborne | News > Materials and Gases

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image resolution of 0.24 Nanometers a linescan over the very sharp edge of an asbestos fiber on a thin holey carbon foilCarl Zeiss SMT has said that it has set a new record resolution benchmark for scanning electron and ion microscopy, using its ‘ORION’ Helium- ion microscope. A surface resolution of 2.4 Angström (0.24 Nanometer) with (25%-75% edge-rise criterion) on various samples being achieved, the company said.

“This unmatched resolution for surface imaging with scanning electron and ion microscopes is extremely important for semiconductor manufacturers and many others who need to see small features that currently cannot be resolved,” remarked Dr. Rainer Knippelmeyer, Senior Vice President Operations of Carl Zeiss SMT. “The ongoing shrinkage of feature sizes of semiconductor devices makes extreme high resolution microscopy mandatory. Some layers of integrated circuits already have reached a thickness of only a few atoms. Semiconductor manufacturers are in dire need of reliable high- resolution, surface sensitive metrology and process control tools. With the ORION Helium- ion microscope we offer exactly the tool the industry and nanotechnology research needs and we continue to keep pace with the industry’s rapidly changing requirements.”

IMAGE: For demonstration of the image resolution of 0.24 Nanometers a linescan over the very sharp edge of an asbestos fiber on a thin holey carbon foil is shown. The texture of the holey carbon foil demonstrates the extremely high surface sensitivity of the ORION® which equals or even exceeds the surface sensitivity of an SEM operated at 1kV and below.

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Reader comments

Couldn't find this info in the article and had to google it: The full image can be viewed at, the product homepage is at
By M. Holder on 22 November 2008

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