Focused Ion Beam


Staff responsible:

Travis Casagrande


Zeiss NVision 40

The Zeiss NVision40 is a dual-beam instrument combining a Schottky field emission SEM with a focused beam of gallium ions. The combination of FIB and SEM allows an area of interest to be identified and extracted, most often for fabrication into a thin-foil specimen for TEM analysis or into needles for Atom Probe Tomography, but also for other applications involving the precise and controlled removal of material at the micro and nano scales.

This instrument can be used for 3D FIB tomography, which is a technique where incrementally milling and imaging a volume of material yields a stack of images that can be processed into a 3D data set. The NPVE add-on by Fibics Inc. enables high-quality 3D FIB data acquisition as well as a more complex patterning capability.

An energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDXS) equipped with a silicon drift detector can be used to assist in the selection of the region of interest and  enables compositional analysis of cross-sections revealed by FIB cuts into the surface of a specimen.

Milling at cryogenic temperature is also possible with the Leica EM VCT100 cryo shuttle and cold stage add-on. The specimen can be kept cold and under vacuum during both insertion into and removal from the FIB.


The FIB is a micro-milling instrument with capabilities that include micro-machining, site-specific TEM thin-foil specimen preparation, consecutive sectioning and imaging to produce 3-D tomographic images, device circuit editing, micro-surgery and device modification. The addition of a STEM (scanning transmitted electron microscopy) detector, that permits analysis of nano-sized particles placed on TEM grids, as well as a SI/SE (secondary ion and electron) detector broadens its capabilities.