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Cerium Labs offers a variety of services. These include:

Analytical Imaging


NEW !  Cerium Labs can now provide imaging analysis on the latest 3rd-generation Aberration Corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope.  Read More.

The Analytical Imaging Section at Cerium Labs provides services in electron imaging, metrology, and elemental analysis of materials. Optical microscopy, FIB, SEM, and TEM are available to image objects at up to 5,000,000 times magnification. Image analysis is used for metrology verification and feature characterization. Additionally, spectroscopic analysis with EDS (SEM and TEM) and EELS (TEM) may be used to determine the identity and distribution of elements present in a sample. Typical samples include devices on silicon and III-V wafers, polymers, fuel cell PMA membranes, carbon nano-tubes on various substrates, and nano-particle catalysts.

Preparation is dependent upon the sample type and the objective of the analysis. Cerium has many sample preparation capabilities including mechanical polishing, CVD for silicon oxide and nitride films, PVD-sputter coating for metals deposition, and etchers (acid and RIE-plasma) for delineating materials. Three dual-beam FIB instruments are available to produce samples at highly specific locations (<100nm). Precision semiconductor device cross sections may be prepared using a micro cleaver with accuracy of ~1um.

Surface Science


The Surface Science section of Cerium Labs provides analysis of the near surface region extending from a few Angstroms to several microns in depth.  Analysis of the surface includes elemental composition, chemical state, depth profile, thickness, roughness, topography and trace impurity content. Typical samples include silicon wafers (blanket films and processed), polymer films and membranes, metals, alloys and catalysts. Any vacuum compatible sample can be analyzed. Sample preparation is minimal, with no alteration, so that the true nature of the surface and its interaction can be revealed.

Techniques offered include Auger, XPS, SIMS (Dynamic and Quadrupole), AFM, XRR, XRD, and Raman Spectroscopy (w/microscope). While Auger and XPS can provide elemental composition, XPS also provides chemical binding to reveal the chemical state information. SIMS is used for ultra-trace contamination characterization. Depth profiling is a particularly attractive feature of these methods (Auger, XPS, SIMS) that can characterize important thermal effects of chemical processing such as diffusion. AFM can uniquely determine surface roughness and topography, while XRR and XRD can measure film thickness and crystal orientation respectively.  Raman spectroscopy is used for film characterization (phase analysis) as well as molecular composition (polymer identification).

Analytical Chemistry


The Analytical Chemistry section at Cerium Labs provides spectrochemical analysis of a wide variety of materials. These materials include liquid chemicals (acids, bases, ultra-pure water (UPW), organic chemistries), solids (powders, thin films on wafers, contaminants on bare wafers, soluble and leachable materials), and air (chemical fumes, impingeable ions and metals, volatile organic contaminants). The Analytical Chemistry section is expert in determining sub parts-per-billion levels of metals in UPW and process chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing, alternative energy applications (solar cells and fuel cells) and nano-technology.

Services offered include techniques utilizing NAA, HR-ICPMS, ICP-OES, WDXRF, IC (anions), IC (cations), FTIR (w/microscope), UV-VIS, ATD-GCMS, total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer, and gravimetric analysis. Specialty measurements including surface tension and viscosity are also offered.

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