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X-ray source installation for inspection of micro-components


Tue, 09 July, 2019

TWI is a consortium member of a 3 year, Horizon 2020 funded project, called CITCOM. The project aims to create a near-line production inspection and measurement system, capable of analysing micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMs) for defects that could have been introduced during the fabrication stage. The system uses a combination of non-destructive testing techniques, including optical and 2D X-ray imaging.

Harry Atherton, Project Leader, Non-destructive Testing, recently installed a Nanotube N1, Excillum Nano-focus X-ray source into a bespoke Optical Table to progress the project. The source needed to sit rigidly on the table top during operation but required fine adjustment for alignment during installation. Typical industrial computed tomography (CT) and radiography testing (RT) systems mount the source-sample-detector in a horizontal position, as this is easier to install and manoeuvre parts. However, for this project, TWI and Excillum installed the X-ray source in a vertical position, to fit the current orientation of eletronic wafer assessment using optics.

This novel configuration allows the wafers, which are part of the manufacturing process of MEMs and have hundreds of thousands of circuit boards, to be moved around between the source below and the detector above. Therefore, an entire 8-inch wafer can be inspected at once, and any defects determined, using the automatic defect recognition (ADR) feature. The system has the capability to produce high-resolution images, enabling visualisation of any internal defects that current optical inspection methods cannot detect.

For more information on the CITCOM project, please visit the project website.

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