FOCUSED ION BEAM (FIB) MICROSCOPY
Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam microscopes (DB-FIBs) are an indispensable tool in modern characterization facilities. They consist of a high-resolution Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) column for sample imaging combined with a fine-probe ion source for sample milling and manipulation. These instruments are powerful tools for nano-machining as well as preparation of site-specific micron-scale samples (e.g. TEM foils) from within specific areas of larger samples. When combined with an in situ sample lift-out system, DB-FIBs allow for preparation and extraction of TEM samples without the need for any support films - a critical feature that enables users to utilize the full range of capabilities in modern high resolution TEMs.
This extremely versatile combination of sputtering, imaging, and analytical capabilities makes dual beam FIBs key componets of any world class nano-characterization facility.
CEMAS houses two dual beam FIBs: the Helios NanoLab 600, and the Nova Nanolab 600. Both are equipped with OmniProbe AutoProbe 200 in-situ lift out systems along with extremely high resolution electron columns powered by Field Emission Gun (FEG) electron sources. The Ga+ ion source on both microscopes can machine samples at a resolution down to 5nm. Aside from TEM sample preparation capabilities, both microscopes are equipped with the "Slice and View" scripting package for 3-D reconstructions from serial sectioning (FIB-tomography). These kinds of cutting edge reconstruction tools are crucial for understanding the true 3-D morphology of today's engineering materials.
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