The Ion Beam Milling ion-etching process is vacuum based and is dependent on precise identification of interlayer breakthrough through multiple stacked thin-film layers each of perhaps only a few Angstrom thick.
The Hiden IMP-EPD end point detector system is used routinely for monitoring and control of the total etching process. The system directly monitors the surface ions generated in the etching process, identifying the species present, their relative abundances and precisely defining the interlayer boundary to just 2.5 Angstrom. Species with molecular weights up to 300amu are determined.
The IMP-EPD system is a differentially-pumped ruggedized secondary ion mass spectrometer used in both research and production process environments.
Operation is fully automated with user adaptable programs enabling optimization for the specific user process. Operation with full manual control is provided for the researcher and for service/maintenance functions.
Additionally to end-point analysis the system operates as a highly sensitive residual gas analyzer for measurement of system background gases, and for leak detection with user choice of search gas.