Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Focused Ion Beam

Thermo Scientific Helios G4 UXe DualBeam Plasma-FIB

The Helios G4 PFIB provides the capacity to perform large area (up to 1 mm2) cross-sectioning, large 3D volume (up to 200 µm × 200 µm × 200 µm) characterization, and Ga+ free sample preparation by using an inductively coupled Xe+ plasma (ICP) source with an ion current that can reach as high as 2.5 µA. A field emission gun (FEG) and an UniColore (UC+, second generation chromatic aberration corrector) enhanced electron column enables imaging beam-sensitive (e.g. biological, polymer, graphene-based, etc.) samples at sub-nanometer resolution utilizing sub-500 eV probes.

Contact Hui Yuan for more information.

PFIB centered in the image with large black control panel in the background.

Zeiss Orion NanoFab

The Zeiss Orion NanoFab is a dual beam instrument with two different FIB columns. The primary is a gas field ion source (GFIS) column which uses either He or Ne, and the second is a liquid metal ion source Ga column.

The GFIS column offers several key advantages over either conventional SEM or FIB systems. When imaging with He ions, the Orion can achieve up to 0.5 nm imaging resolution, and with a depth of field that is 5-10x that of a normal field emission SEM. By combining He ion imaging with an electron flood gun, the Orion is also capable of imaging many non-conductive, charging samples, without requiring additional sample preparation steps (e.g. metal coating).

The He ion beam is also capable of fine-scale milling and patterning (<10 nm) to create precise and delicate structures or features. Using Ne instead of He for the GFIS offers an improved milling rate with a trade-off on resolution, and the conventional Ga FIB beam is useful for high rate material removal.

The combination of these two beams and three ion sources make the Orion a versatile platform for high resolution and high precision imaging, patterning, and advanced nanofabrication.

Contact Sabaa Rashid for more information.

Orion NanoFab FIB next to workstation with controls and monitor.

Thermo Fisher Helios 5 UC

Installed in 2022, the Helios 5 is a modern workhorse FIB that CCEM has targeted to be used by both CCEM staff and users for efficiently performing typical FIB tasks such as cross-section analysis and sample preparation for TEM and APT.

It is equipped with an assortment of detectors; ETD, TLD, ICE, MD, and ICD; many with backscattered electron modes. For EDS there is a ThermoScientific Pathfinder EDS detector. The Helios 5 is also equipped with in-chamber Navigation and IR Cameras, plasma cleaner, electron flood gun for FIB charge neutralization, cryo-cleaner decontamination device, and AutoTEM 5 software.

The 30 kV Ga ion beam ranges from 1 pA to 100 nA, enabling both precise nano-scale patterning and fast material removal. The voltage can go as low as 500 V for gentle cleaning with minimal ion penetration depth.

The MultiChem gas-delivery system enables site-specific deposition of tungsten, platinum, and carbon. There is also a gas for selected carbon etching.
The Easy-lift offers easy and efficient in-situ micromanipulation.

The stage is high-precision piezo-driven, with a Z-range of 10 mm and tilt range of -10 to 60 degrees.

The electron beam current ranges from 0.8 pA to 100 nA and the voltage from 350V to 30kV. An Immersion Lens design with UC+ monochromator enables very high-resolution SEM imaging using low voltage and low current. Drift-compensated frame integration further helps to reduce noise and handle the imaging of non-conductive and beam-sensitive specimens. Up to 4000 V beam deceleration can also be applied to the specimen.

More microscope information and specifications are available at the Thermo Scientific webpage for the Helios 5 UC: Helios 5 UC DualBeam

Contact Travis Casagrande for more information about utilizing this FIB-SEM at CCEM.

Zeiss Crossbeam 350 with Laser

Installed in 2022, the Crossbeam 350 at CCEM is fully-equipped to handle a wide variety of scenarios, highlighted by a femtosecond laser that enables massive volumes of material ablation in addition to all the full functionality of a FIB-SEM.

The femtosecond laser is attached to the airlock to avoid chamber contamination, yet the laser positioning is still registered to the SEM image to enable site-specific laser ablation of specimens at rates that are orders of magnitude greater than the removal rate of even a plasma-FIB. Access to the millimetre scale is routine work for this laser. The femtosecond laser ablates material so quickly that there is almost no significant damage or heat-affected zone. Additionally, the Crossbeam 350 at CCEM is the first Zeiss Laser FIB installation in the world with “Burst Mode”, which further improves efficiency.

The Crossbeam 350 is equipped with SE2 and InLens secondary electron detectors as well as an in-column energy-selective backscattered (ESB) detector and an retractable 4-quadrant annular backscattered electron detector. There are 2 IR Cameras to assist with navigation as well as one in the airlock. The airlock enables efficient sample transfer without the need to vent the specimen chamber.

The 30 kV Ga ion beam ranges from 1 pA to 100 nA, enabling both precise nano-scale patterning and fast material removal. The voltage can go as low as 500 V for gentle cleaning with minimal ion penetration depth.

Two gas-injection systems enable site-specific deposition of tungsten or carbon. A Kleindiek MM3 micromanipulator with rotation enables in-situ micromanipulation.
The stage has a large Z-range of up to 50 mm and tilt ranges from -4 to 70 degrees.

The electron imaging current spans 5pA to 100nA and the voltage from 0.02kV to 30kV.

Future add-ons to the Crossbeam 350 at CCEM include a Leica cryo system with cold vacuum transfer capability, Fibics scan generator with Atlas 5 software, correlation with 3D X-ray micro-CT data, and more.

More microscope information and specifications, are available at the Zeiss webpage for the Crossbeam family of FIB-SEMs: ZEISS Crossbeam Family

Contact Travis Casagrande for more information about utilizing this FIB-SEM at CCEM.

Zeiss Crossbeam 350