Our clients receive a unique and comprehensive offer for failure analysis and material characterisation. Grouped together in a single centre to save time and costs, run by a committed and service-orientated team, which has excellent knowledge of material-induced problems in microelectronics. In addition there are top level technical facilities - the Fraunhofer IMWS has the most comprehensive equipment for microstructure elucidation within the Fraunhofer community.

Non-destructive defect localisation

 Scanning acoustic microscopy (MHz, GHz)
Lock-in and pulse-phase thermography
X-ray analysis and 3D tomography

Target preparation techniques

 Delayering (CMP)
Metallographic preparation and chemical decapsulation
Use of laser beams for decapsulation and making transverse sections
Use of ion beams to make transverse sections and for polishing
Locally limited mechanical grinding method, preparation from the IC rear
Cryo ultramicrotome, rotating microtome

Focused ion beam method and electron microscopy

 High-performance FIB system and chem. etching of grooves in Si, integrated IR microscope
Crossbeam FIB system with EDX and EBSD
Crossbeam FIB system for the TEM Lift-out method
ESEM FIB system with cryo transfer
Low-energy Ar FIB techniques for sample finishing for TEM tests
Various high-resolution SEM with electrical in-situ contact and EBIC/EBAC
Analytical SEM with EBSD, EDX, WDX
Environmental SEM (ESEM) with in-situ investigations and levels
TEM (200 kV) with ns-EDX and in-situ investigations
TEM (200 kV) with ns-EDX, EELS, NBD
EF-TEM (60-300 kV) with Cs correction, EDX, EELS, HAADF, STEM

Surface and trace analysis

 Atomic force microscopy (AFM)
Photoelectron, UV and auger electron spectroscopy (XPS/UPS, AES)
Time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)
Mass spectrometry with inductive coupled plasma (ICP-MS)
Contact angle measurements

Crystallography and optical spectrometry

 Micro X-ray diffraction (XRD)
Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)
IR, light and fluorescent microscropy
UV/VIS, fluorescence and FTIR spectroscopy
Micro-Raman spectroscopy
Electro / photoluminescence
IR double refraction investigations (for Si components)

Surface topography and deformation

 Mechanical profilometry
Laser scanning microscopy
White light interferometry
Electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI)
Image correlation systems for the 3D forming analysis
Wafer bow and thickness fluctuations

Polymer characterisation

 Dynamic differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA)
Thermogravimetry (TGA) with FTIR
Thermomechanical analysis (TMA, dilatometry)
Thermal conductivity analysis (TCA, laser flash)

Mechanical testing and evaluation

 Static and dynamic material test machines up into the mN load range
Nanoindentation (T-dependent) and micro hardness test
Tension and shear tester for microelectronic interconnection technology
Individualized MEMS, piezo-driven fatigue tests and wafer contact tests
MEMS analysis including laser vibrometry, stroboscope video microscopy and white light interferometry
Electrical test station, parameter analysis
High throughput, thermal shock, humidity and vibration tests


The transmission electron microscope Titan G2 60-300 made by the FEI Company.