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Tanner's MEMS Lab Offers Scanning Electron Micrograph Services

January 9, 2007

The R&D and fabrication facility's imaging of thin films and structures during processing enables subsequent process steps to be optimized, increasing manufacturing yield by as much as 50%.


PASADENA, CA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Tanner Labs, a division of Tanner Research, said it will begin offering scanning electron micrograph (SEM) services in its MEMS R&D and fabrication facility in Pasadena. Tanner has used the SEM system internally but is now offering it externally.

MEMS devices integrate traditional microelectronics, or silicon-based devices, with mechanical elements, sensors, and actuators to create chips that have not just computational capabilities but can sense and control. MEMS devices are used in a variety of applications, including biotechnology, communications, accelerometers for crash testing, and many others that require analysis and control.

The SEM services from Tanner Labs rapidly image critical process steps on wafer lots, which helps improve the numbers of usable devices made by as much as 50%. Imaging of thin films and structures during processing enables subsequent process steps to be optimized for maximizing device yield.

The SEM device, a Cambridge Stereoscan 240, can load sample sizes as large as four inches with resolution of 10 nanometers. This resolution limit is useful for examining nano-structures with submicron features.

Other key features of the SEM system include:

  • Acceleration voltage of 0.3–30 kV, enabling examination of uncoated or delicate specimens, which are sensitive to electron bombardment
  • Magnification between 5 and 300,000 times of actual features
  • Chamber capacity of 200 mm diameter devices, enabling monitoring large device arrays without destructive dicing or cleaving

Tanner Research Inc.
Founded in 1988, Tanner Research Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Monrovia, CA. Tanner Research, through its MEMS R&D and fabrication facility supports advanced research and development. The facility provides more than 1000 sq. ft. of dedicated Class 1000 and Class 100 cleanroom space and enables the development and low-volume manufacturing of MEMS using traditional silicon-based processes, as well as innovative and nontraditional, low-temperature (<250°C) materials and processes. Manufacturing examples include gyroscopes, ink jet devices, micro thrusters, and other microfluidic devices. Tanner Research MEMS R&D and fabrication facility services include:

  • Research and development partnerships: direct access to the Tanner MEMS staff and cleanroom facility for qualified customers, with in-house MEMS design and processing expertise
  • Full-service MEMS research and development: highly effective MEMS and microelectronics technology, product, and fabrication process research and development
  • Prototype and pilot line MEMS fabrication (low-volume "foundry" services): prototype and low-volume initial production for mature MEMS designs

For more information about Tanner Research Inc., please visit the company's Web site or call 626-471-9700.

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