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 the 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 components 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 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.