The FIB microscope is a dual-beam FEI Quanta machine, combining a Ga+ FIB column (liquid-metal ion source) and a field-emission SEM column in one tool. Through the addition of a variety of detectors, in-situ stage types and other accessories, this instrument enables a wide variety of sample preparation, manipulation and analysis to be performed in the same chamber. The microscope is also licensed to handle radioactive materials and plays a key role in the study of advanced materials for nuclear applications.
The Ga+ beam is used for site-specific etching of materials for the fabrication of electron-transparent specimens for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), sharp tips for atom-probe tomography (APT), pillar samples for in-situ mechanical testing, and further structures of interest for micro- and nanofabrication applications.
Materials analysis is made possible using the electron beam for high-resolution Z-contrast imaging in combination with an electron backscatter detector for crystallographic orientation mapping by electron backscatter electron diffraction (EBSD), and an x-ray detector for elemental mapping by x-ray energy-dispersive spectrometry (XEDS). The Ga+ beam can also be used for fine texture analysis in crystalline materials. Recently, a detector for scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) has also been installed.
Ion- and electron-beam-assisted deposition of platinum can be used to form nanoscale electrical contacts for rapid prototyping and analysis of novel electronic structures and materials, and for the deposition of a protective layer prior to ion-beam etching for cross-sectional analysis.
Micromanipulators within the chamber can be used for electrical probing or for positioning of samples with nanoscale precision (e.g. for TEM lift-outs). A micro-indenter and pico-indenter are available for in-situ mechanical testing, and a cold stage enables materials analysis down to cryo-level temperatures. A cryo-transfer stage enables the transfer of frozen specimens into the chamber for micromachining and imaging, and subsequent transfer back out of the microscope for high-resolution analysis by cryo TEM.
Microscope Specifications (including various detectors and other add-ons)
|Ga+ beam||2 to 30 kV; 1.5 to 65 nA
nominal resolution 7 nm at 30kV
|Electron beam||0.5 to 30kV; 4 to 48nA
nominal resolution 1.2 nm at 30kV
|Detectors available||SE (secondary electron), XEDS, EBSD, STEM|
|In-situ stages and accessories||Micro-manipulators (Kleindiek)
Pico-indenter (Hysitron PI 85)
Cryo-transfer stage (Hummingbird)
Frazer, D., M. D. Abad, D. Krumwiede, C. A. Back, H. E. Khalifa, C. P. Deck, and P. Hosemann. “Localized mechanical property assessment of SiC/SiC composite materials.”Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing 70 (2015): 93-101.
Lupinacci, A., J. Kacher, A. Eilenberg, A. A. Shapiro, P. Hosemann, and A. M. Minor. “Cryogenic in situ microcompression testing of Sn.” Acta Materialia 78 (2014): 56-64.