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Hitachi High-Technologies GLOBAL

November 29, 2010

Hitachi High-Tech Launches New IM4000 Ion Milling System

A 2-in-1 hybrid ion milling system capable of both cross-section and flat ion milling

Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation (TOKYO:8036, Hitachi High-Tech) today announced the release of the hybrid IM4000 Ion Milling System from December 1. The system is used to prepare specimens for SEM imaging and analysis such as EDX and EBSP, and is capable of both cross-section and flat ion milling.
The ion milling system uses a wide Argon ion beam to irradiate specimens and uses the sputtering effect* to polish the surface without stressing it, making it useful in a multitude of different fields and applications such as semiconductors, materials, research, and quality control.
The newly-developed IM4000 features a removable specimen holder that allows for both cross-section milling, where the ion beam irradiates the specimen from above and cuts a planar cross section through the specimen along the edge of a mask located between the specimen and ion gun, and flat milling, where a wide and smooth surface of approximately 5mm in diameter is achieved by shifting the ion beam axis and specimen rotational axis, and irradiating the specimen from an angle between 30-80°.
The IM4000 also features a high milling rate ion gun with a processing speed of 300μm/hr (3 times faster than previous models**) that dramatically reduces the time required for time-consuming cross-section milling.
Hitachi High-Tech will have a demonstration system on display at SEMICON Japan 2010 at Makuhari Messe from December 1. Deliveries are scheduled to begin from March 2011 and Hitachi High-Tech expects sales of 150 systems for the year.

*
The effect of molecules and atoms being expelled from the surface of a specimen when struck by accelerated ions.
**
Compared to the E-3500 (2005) on a silicon specimen.

Specifications

Item Description
Cross-section milling holder Flat milling holder
Gas Argon gas
Accelerating voltage 0-6kV
Maximum milling rate (Si) Approx. 300µm/hr Approx. 2µm/hr
Maximum specimen size 20W x 12D x 7H mm Φ50 x 25H mm
Gas flow rate control system Mass flow controller
Evacuation system Turbo molecular pump (33L/s) + Rotary pump (135L/min at 50Hz, 162L/min at 60Hz)
Size 616W x 705D x 312H mm
Weight Main unit 48kg + Rotary pump 28kg

Key features

  • Hybrid system capable of both cross-section and flat ion milling
    Cross section milling: The ion beam irradiates the specimen from above and cuts a planar cross section through the specimen along the edge of a mask located between the specimen and ion gun. Flat milling: A wide and smooth surface of approximately 5mm in diameter is achieved by shifting the ion beam axis and specimen rotational axis, and irradiating the specimen from an angle between 30-80°.
  • High throughput cross section milling
    A high milling rate ion gun with a speed of 300µm/hr reduces the processing time by 66% (compared to the E-3500, released in 2005).
  • Removable stage unit
    The specimen stage unit is designed to be removable to enable the accurate and convenient adjustment of the milling position and specimen.


IM4000 Ion Milling System

General Inquiries

Hiroshi Kato
Marketing Department, Electron Microscope
Analytical Systems Sales Division
Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation
Tel: +81-3-3504-7714

Media Inquiries

Aiko Matsumoto
Public & Investor Relations Group
Secretary's Office
Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation
Tel: +81-3-3504-3258

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