In order to make sure we're all on the same page, here are a few conventions to follow.

Layer name


  • An unprocessed chip has layer “mz” for top metal
  • For others, see below


  • I've been calling intermediate etchings in more complex processes like s3-7 meaning sample 3, processing step 7
  • This avoids spending too much time trying to classify something that isn't really a purely poly or active


  • Active/implant/STI layer
    • If bare silicon with no processing: active
    • If Dash etch or similar: stain
  • Polysilicon layer
    • If chip only has one poly layer: poly
    • If chip has more than one poly layer: polyN, where N starts from 1 at the lowest layer and counts up
  • Metal layer
    • If the number of layers in the chip is known (from a cross section, etc): mN, where N starts from 1 at the lowest layer and counts up
    • If the number of layers is not known: mN, where N starts from the letter Z at the upper layer and counts down. In particular, MZ means top metal layer, regardless of total layer count


High resolution images should be named like: <vendor>_<id>_<layer>_<image type>.jpg

Required fields: vendor, id. Add the others if you have them

Spaces are not allowed. Fields should not have _'s. Translate these to -'s if needed

Some sample image names:

  • st_24c02_mz_ns50xu.jpg: ST Microelectronics (vendor) 24C02 (chip id). Top metal (mz) image taken with NeoSPlan 50x objective
  • st_24c02_mz.jpg: Like above, but capture information unknown. It appears to be top metal, so this is added in. Although no objective is given, implied that its brightfield
  • Complex example
    • ti_tms32010c-70015_s1-2_mit20x_rom.jpg
    • Vendor: Texas Instruments (ti)
    • Chip: TMS32010C
    • Chip variant: 70015 (in this case the ROM programming)
    • s1-2: sample 1, processing step 2. Please list processing steps on wiki page if available
    • mit20x: objective used
    • rom: a region of interest within the 20x scan
  • wafer example
    • mos_8564r6-wafer_mz_die.jpg: a MOS 8564R6 wafer top metal. Main chip
    • mos_8564r6-wafer_mz_9079r2.jpg: a MOS 8564R6 wafer top metal, but the test pattern 9079R2


Abbreviated names for different microscope configurations

Applies Abbreviation Name Notes
OM bf Brightfield Usually omitted / implied default
EM bs Backscatter
OM df Darkfield
OM dic Differential interference contrast
EM se Secondary electron
OM xpol Crossed polarizers


  • EM: electron microscopy (SEM)
  • OM: optical microscopy


If you've calibrated your microscope against a standard of some sort, please add an overlay with the objective name and a scale bar to your images. (Contact azonenberg if you'd like the GIMP files for our standard overlay, which you can modify for your setup.)


Please add new objectives to this list as necessary.

NOTE: Imaging typically involves a 10x relay lens to make actual magnification times 10. For example, a Mit20x objective is used with a 10x relay lens to make the final image at 200x magnification on the CCD. However, chip pages should include scale bars whenever possible as sensor size has no relation to pixel size, especially in stitched or downsampled images.

  • am4x: AmScope 4x
  • am10x: AmScope 10x
  • am40x: AmScope 40x
  • am100x: AmScope 100x (oil immersion)
  • bli20x: Bausch & Lomb industrial 20x (designed for stereozoom series)
  • ch2x: cheap supposedly Apo 2x objective that may be made of soda glass (green tinge…). Loosely resembles Seiwa objectives
  • mit5x: Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5x
  • mit10x: Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 10x
  • mit20x: Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 20x
  • mit50xn: Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 50x Near UV
  • mit100x: Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 100x
  • nikon20x: Nikon M Plan 20x ELWD
  • neo5x: Olympus Neo 5x
  • nd5x: Olympus Neo DPlan 5x
  • ns50x: Olympus Neo SPlan 50x
  • ns50xu: Olympus Neo SPlan 50x ultra-long working distance (ULWD)
  • md5x: Olympus MDPlan 5x
  • ms10x: Olympus MSPlan 10x
  • ms20x: Olympus MSPlan 20x
  • ms50x: Olympus MSPlan 50x
  • ms100x: Olympus MSPlan 100x
  • opl100x: Olympus Plan 100x Oil 1.25NA
  • oplcn100x: Olympus Plan CN 100x Oil 1.25NA
  • sz or zoom: Zoom microscope, generally no scale bar provided because magnification varies (unless that particular zoom setting was calibrated during the same imaging session)

See also


azonenberg's new standard is: foo_01_type_20kV_10kx_9mm.jpg

“type” may be “se” for secondary electron or “bse” for backscatter.

Magnification should be abbreviated if a multiple of 1000, otherwise written out in full (ex: 3900x, 4kx).

Working distance and accelerating voltage should also be specified to aid in interpretation of the image. Typically for high-resolution images one will use the lowest probe current and smallest aperture that give a good signal-to-noise ratio, so this information is often omitted from the filename.

conventions.txt · Last modified: 2024/07/01 17:11 by philpem
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