Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM)

Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy
FIB-SEM cross-section of a pixel array, showing underlying nm-scale device features

Like other high-resolution scanning electron microscopes, Focused-ion-beam scanning electron microscopes (FIB-SEMs) are used to produce 2D and 3D images of surface topography, and are able to resolve nm-scale features on a sample surface.

The FIB allows advanced analytical workflows such as: cross-section, tomography, lithography, lamella prep, and many others.

Strengths
  • Ultra-high resolution imaging capabilities (limit resolution is < 1 nm)
  • Able to image multi-modal, sub-surface, and 3D information
  • FIB enables precise manipulation of sample in-situ: cutting, cleaving, trenching, exposing, and ion-welding of different fragments on the sample for imaging and analysis
Limitations
  • Analysis is destructive
  • Insulating materials impair precision of ion beam action and reduce imaging resolution
Base Prices
Technique Variants
Pricing Starts At
Action
Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM)
$425 / Hour
FIB-SEM + Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (FIB-SEM + EDS)
$475 / Hour
Example Outputs

FIB-SEM cross-section of a pixel array, showing underlying nm-scale device features.

Instruments Used for FIB-SEM
Thermo Scientific Helios 5 DualBeam

Thermo Scientific Helios 5 DualBeam

  • Maximum Horizontal Field Width: 2.3 mm at 4 mm WD
  • Electron Beam:
    • Resolution Limit: 0.7 nm at 1 kV
    • Current Range: 0.8 pA to 100 nA
    • Accelerating Voltage Range: 350 V to 30 kV
  • Ion Beam:
  • Electron Beam:
    • Resolution Limit: 4.0 nm at 30 kV using preferred statistical method
    • Current Range: 1 pA to 100 nA
    • Accelerating Voltage Range: 500 V to 30kV
  • View Instrument Spec Sheet

Thermo Scientific Scios DualBeam

Optimized to achieve best performance across a wide array of sample types.

  • Powerful charge neutralization
  • Enables analysis on magnetic samples
  • Able to operate above vacuum pressure
Sample Requirements
  • Solid phase
  • Must be vacuum stable
  • Maximum Sample Height: 55 mm
  • Maximum Sample Weight: 500 g (including sample-holder)
  • Maximum Lateral Dimension: 150 mm (larger samples enabled with reduced rotation)
How FIB-SEM Works

On a FIB-SEM, the added focused-ion-beam allows for in situ sample manipulation. Normally the FIB beam is used to cross-section the sample at a precise location, but it can accomplish many other tasks such as: tomography, lithography, lamella prep, and more.

The imaging capabilities of the scanning-electron-beam in a FIB-SEM work as they do in any other SEM: the system generates an image by detecting electrons scattered by a highly-focused, high-energy applied electron beam as it is raster-scanned over the surface of a sample.

The secondary focused-ion-beam is comprised of high-energy, charged atoms (most commonly Ga+). When applied to the sample, the FIB can be tuned to either ablate material from the surface, or deposit atoms of an accompanying neutral gas.

Additionally, both in-house FIB-SEM instruments at Covalent also incorporate energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) detectors that enable measurement and mapping of elemental composition alongside all other FIB-SEM operations.

Additional Resources
3 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Signals You Need to Know to Optimize Your SEM Analysis
3D Tomography Using the DualBeam (SEM-FIB): Imaging, EDS and EBSD
3D Tomography Using the DualBeam (SEM-FIB): Imaging, EDS...
IN Event
January 1, 1970 12:00 am
This webinar will introduce 3D tomography using the DualBeam platform, including the plasma and liquid metal ion sources (LMIS). Sample preparation, automated data collection and data reconstruction will be discussed. 3D tomography reconstruction examples will be shown for imaging, EDS and EBSD at both the Gallium Ion Beam and the Xenon plasma FIB scale. The esteemed presenters will focus on: What […]
Expert Lessons in Electron and Ion Beam Imaging and Interpretation
Expert Lessons in Electron and Ion Beam Imaging...
IN Event
January 1, 1970 12:00 am
In this webinar, our experts will discuss cutting-edge techniques and best practices for optimizing images captured with a FIB-SEM DualBeam microscope. Topics will include image interpretation, exploration of new state-of-the-art instrumentation, and the realm of analytical possibilities accessed using these techniques. A DualBeam FIB-SEM combines a scanning electron microscope with a focused-ion-beam (FIB-SEM). With myriad […]
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