14 Jun 21

Evince acquires advanced metrology tool

Thanks to Covid, Evince Technology has been able to successfully bring one of its most expensive bought-in analytical services in-house.

The company has acquired a dual beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) from Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, due to the system becoming surplus to the university’s needs. Evince was already the heaviest external user of the FIB/SEM system prior to lockdown and is extremely grateful to the university for offering us first refusal to acquire it.


The FIB/SEM is a vital tool used by Evince to cross-section and analyse our devices. When bought new these advanced metrology systems typically cost around £1.5M, and even used they sell for more than £400K.

The new FIB/SEM system is an exceptionally powerful tool for any semiconductor-related company to have in-house, and we’re planning to make it available as a resource to other local companies in the North East Advanced Material Electronics (NE-AME) cluster. For Evince it means we can now analyse samples with a 24 hour turnaround, previously it would have typically taken 7 to 10 days to get a result.
John Carr, head of development at Evince

As soon as the first UK Covid 19 lockdown started, Evince accelerated an already formulated plan to reduce its dependency on university-based equipment for several key processes. The FIB/SEM acquisition is just the latest in a number of opportunities the company has seized over the last 18 months to buy equipment, worth over £2.5m in total, at bargain prices.

“Expansion of processing capability has doubled the number of processes we undertake in-house. We are also pleased to be working with another NE-AME cluster member, Inex Microtechnology, for the majority of the other manufacturing steps. Altogether this has led to vastly improved quality and manufacturing cycle lead-times,” said John Carr.

SEPTEMBER UPDATE: After successful decommissioning, transport and reinstatement with some TLC thrown in, the FEI Quanta 3D system is now fully operational and in routine use.


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