Products

smile2

smile2 is a novel versatile electron beam lithography solution.

smile2 does not come with an integrated column, but can be attachted to any electron microscope or FIB.

However, we are also able to build and offer complete systems, including high precision stages, through partnerships with other vendors.

In contrast to traditional electron beam solutions, smile2 is based on state-of-the-art computation technology, combined with a powerful and precise IO hardware. This makes smile2 higly modularized and configurable. Customers can easily build a system which matches their needs. Extensions and add-ons can be purchased later at any time. Read more what smile2 can do for you in the applications section.

  • Ultra complex structures

    No matter how creative and complex your ideas are, anything can be realized with the help of smile2. Using smile2 not only allows the exposure of many millions of polygons within a few seconds, but also the realization of procedurally computed complex structures, such as fractals, at maximum resolution.

  • Highest Precision

    smile2 makes no compromise on resolution. Built-in features like dose profile optimization, proximity effect correction or custom pattern generation make it easy to reliably produce not only narrow long line patterns but all kind of other nanometer sized structures.

Key Features

High Preformance & flexible pattern generation

No matter how creative and complex your ideas are, anything can be realized with the help of smile2. Using smile2 allows not only the exposure of many millions of polygons within a few seconds, but also the realization of procedurally computed complex structures, such as fractals, at maximum resolution.

smile2 has no dedicated pattern generation (PG) hardware. All points and data required for the beam(s) control are generated with the help of an efficient software module. The main advantage of the system is that the PG does not depend on the structure complexity, so that any complex geometry can be exposed quickly and reliably. The PG can be influenced by the user by determining the way of the exposure to improve the final result.

High Resolution Proximity Effect Correction

Thanks to the etp2 technology, it is now possible to individually address the dwell time of all potentially 4.3 billion sampling points. Based on this, smile2 offers fully integrated proximity effect correction (PEC) with two different evaluation methods.

The first method is the traditional one also used by other applications. The second one is a novel “deconvolution” method which can simultaneously get corrections for both shape and dwell time. Instead of employing geometry fracturing, in order to expose dose-corrected structures, smile2 uses the etp2 technology to modify the dwell time locally at each individual raster point. This results in significant improvements, and in an increased reliability – especially for small structure elements.

More details on the proximity effect correction can be found in the proximity effect correction section on the technology page.

Fast & precise IO hardware

Even though the pattern generation is implemented in software, a proper IO hardware is required to drive the SEM and the beam blanker and to aquire data from the detectors.

Our latest hardware increases the sampling speeds up to 100 Mega samples per second with 16 bit precision and can drive 4 axes (dual-beam) simultaneously. It incorporates the novel etp2 technology that allows to set the dwell time for each of the potentially 4.3 billion sampling points individually, without increasing of the exposure time. It makes it possible to fabricate high-resolution 3D structures and to improve the proximity effect correction to previously unreachable accuracy.

More details on the hardware can be found in the hardware section on the technology page.

User-Friendly and Reliable Software

Our software, smile2, incorporates state-of-the-art technologies and meets the highest requirements.

Thanks to intuitive user concepts, beginners as well as advanced users are able to use the software very efficiently to achieve the best results. Innovative tools makes the construction and editing of structures fast and simple, regardless of their complexity.

The integrated Python interpreter can be used for automation of the exposure process or for creating and editing structures based on customized scripts.

Data such as alignment matrices, the construction history or collected scans could be saved and later used in different documents.

More details on the smile2 user inteface can be found here.

Some smile2 tutorials and screen casts can also be found in our youtube channel.

Flexible and automatable workflow

No matter how unique and complex your structures and workflow might be, everything can be optimized and automated in smile2. The multiple structure exposure allows to write structures from different documents in one procedure, with their own parameters and enabled layers. It is also possible to control the SEM parameters such as focus distance, aperture and cathode voltage directly in the software. Moreover, every single structure can be aligned fully automatically if desired.

smile2 exposes its complete functionality as a set of PYTHON modules. Therefore, all tasks can also be performed through scripts. In fact, the smile2 framework can be also used from external applications, even without ever opening smile2’s graphical user interface.

More details on scripting and automation can be found here.

Multi platform

Due to the ability to handle many millions of polygons or (arbitrarily placed) instances, smile2 offers the possibility to expose all kind of procedural shapes (e.g. fractals) or scalar fields (e.g. density maps) with resolutions as high as the sampling resolution (16 bit, up to 4.3 billion raster points).

Easy and reliable 3D lithography

The ability to control the deflection beam timing individually per pixel offers new approaches to perform high-resolution 3D lithography: the surface profile can be encoded in a dose map which can be assigned to any desired shape created in the smile2 document. This dose map can either be calculated on the fly by a script, or it can be loaded from a precomputed image or data file. Thus, the complicated task to create a 3D surface can be achieved by simply specifying a single image or a profile curve.

Procedural shapes and large object arrays

smile2 is available for Windows and Linux operating systems. One can choose between Windows, Linux or a dual-boot solution.

Product details

  • 64 Bit Intel CPU, Windows 10 or Linux, 21″ monitor,
  • 1TB HDD, 16 GB RAM
    • Sniper2 IO System (integrated):
    • Two (x,y) 16 Bit output resolution channels with a maximum voltage of +/- 10V (adjustable to +/- 5 or +/- 1V)
    • Two 12 Bit analog input channels (+/- 10V maximum voltage)
    • Sampling rates up to 100 mega samples/s
    • Per sample adjustable sampling rate in real time (only unlocked after purchasing the etp2 option)
    • Two digital beam-blanker control outputs
    • Two digital inputs (can be used as a triggers)
    • DAC/ADC inputs through SMA
  • SEM I/O-interface
  • SEM control module via Ethernet, USB or serial port
  • Compact form factor (as midi-tower or 3HU 19″ mount available)
The base sytem, includes all core components to perform lithography. In detail, it comes with

  • IO Hardware with sampling rates up to 100 MS/s
  • DAC/ADC Extension board including
    • Two analog outputs. 16 bit.
    • Two analog inputs. 12 bit .
    • Two digital beam-blanker control outputs
    • Two digital inputs
  • SEM I/O-interface (RS232, Ethernet or USB)
  • 64 Bit Intel CPU, Windows 10 or Linux, 21″ monitor
  • 1TB HDD, and 16 GB RAM
  • smile2 Basic software
    • GDS II Import/Export

Compatibility

smile2 should work with all major decent (year 2000+) SEMs.

However, since most SEM vendors changed many things over years, we need to know the exact model and options to tell how good the support for the corresponding SEM is.

Extensions & Modules

In contrast to other vendors, neomicra offers a modular product platform. Depending on your needs, individual modules can be purchased and added in order to get new functionality. Currently, neomicra offers the following components and modules, integratable in the smile2 base system:

The elementary time protocol version 2 (etp2) allows the arbitrary modification of the dwell times on each sample. It is the basis for advanced features like high-resolution profiles (e.g. holographic structures or fresnel lenses) and the built-in high-quality proximity effect correction. In short, this feature is a must-have for every advanced user.

More information about etp2 can be found here.

An affordable pA-Meter that is used to measure the beam current. It integrates flawlessly into the smile2 framework. (This is only required if your SEM is not equipped with a current measurement option.)
This module contains semi-automatic (one-click-procedure) and fully automatic (no human interaction required at all) option.

The search for markers in scans is performed using sophisticated image recognition algorithms and especially optimized for (low-quality) SEM scans. Any geometric object within the structure can be used as an “alignment marker”.

In addition to the integrated commands in smile2, this package also includes a Python module which can be used in external applications.

Read more about proximity effect correction in smile2 here.

This module includes:

  • On the fly computation
  • Offline computation (on the local computer of the user)
  • Two output modes:
    • Fractured geometry
    • Dose Map (produces better results, requires the etp hardware extension for exposure)
  • Two Algorithms:
    • Local: This algorithm is based on a “self-conistent” approach which is also used in other packages
    • Deconvolution: A newly developed algorithm, that does also “intrinsically” corrects the shape and not only the dose.
  • The framework is open, such that the user can tweak all the parameters or even implement his own algorithm.
Includes a package of many tools that are intended for automation
Support Package +

  • Guaranteed response within 2 work days
  • 3 requests/months directly to developer
  • In-place support if required
Two options available:

  • Standard beam blanker (up to 5 Mega samples max)
  • Fast beam blanker (up to 100 Mega samples max)

The beam blanker comes with the control electronics and all cables

  • DAC/ADC Extension board including
    • Two analog outputs. 16 bit. Maximum voltage +/- 10V, adjustable to +/- 5V and +/- 1V (SMA)
    • Two analog inputs. 12 bit Maximum voltage +/- 10V (SMA)
    • Two digital beam-blanker control outputs (SMA)
    • Two digital inputs (can be used as a trigger) (SMA)

More information about the hardware can be found here.

With the smile2 desktop license you can run smile2 on your computer. You can also use already purchased versions of extensions (like the proximity effect correction on your desktop) to precalculate data or to simulate the exposure process. Each license of the core version comes with a hardware USB dongle. Extensions can be “loaded” on one of your already purchased dongles.

Services

neomicra offers a range of services related to electron beam lithography:

  • Building of customized complete electron beam systems
  • Development of customized scripts and plug-ins
  • Device calibration and optimization
  • Consulting and extended support

In case of questions, do not hesitate and contact us using our contact form or directly by email under service@neomicra.com.

Ask for a quotation

Please, do not hesitate to contact us.