Focused Ion Beam SEM (FIB-SEM)

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Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) is an advanced analytical technique used in materials science, engineering, and biology to study the microstructure and properties of materials at high resolution. It combines the high-resolution imaging capability of SEM with the precision milling capabilities of a focused ion beam.


SEM using focused ions (FIB-SEM)

Due to their versatility and precision, dual beam FIB-FESEM devices are a tool that is being used more and more in manufacturing, process development, and failure analysis. With the help of electrostatic deflectors and lenses, a focused ion beam (FIB) can be utilized to produce an extremely narrowly focused beam of ions from a reservoir source. Gallium is a common ion utilized in these instruments, however different ion sources are available for specialty purposes. The bigger mass of the ions impacts the surface with a far greater amount of energy than electrons from a SEM source, although the ions can be scanned over a sample surface to image the material using secondary electron production, similar to a SEM. This offers a way to modify, shape, prepare, and then analyze the sample for a variety of goals. To construct controlled structures or patterned conductive channels to edit or modify micro-circuitry, samples can be cut, cross-sections can be made, and materials can be deposited on the sample using gas precursors that have been introduced into the sample.

The combination of the FIB and a high-resolution SEM column produces a particularly potent analytical platform. In a short amount of time, samples can be mounted, sectioned, probed, and scanned for very accurate analytical purposes. Very fine structures in composite materials may be investigated thanks to the high magnification of the FE-SEM, superior material contrast, and low voltage imaging capabilities. EDS, EBSD, and BSE imaging are among the additional analytical methods made possible by the employment of an electron beam. This imaging accuracy also makes it simple to prepare TEM section samples that are exceedingly thin and precise in a range of materials. Using serial tomography sectioning and the high-resolution ion beam, all of these methods can be coupled to offer three-dimensional analysis with voxel resolution < 10 nm over a sizable volume.

Our diverse group of scientists can take advantage of these potent analysis approaches by utilizing our broad range of knowledge across a myriad of industries thanks to Advanced MicroAnalytical’s advantage in offering FIB-SEM service. The day after performing a 3D tomography of the catalyst particles in a fuel cell membrane, it is possible to analyze semiconductor devices for failures, and the following day it is possible to use EBSD to perform a crack propagation analysis on high tensile steels. We can provide the greatest analytical services to clients on demand thanks to our commitment to acting as a resource for them in a range of sectors.

Video 01:Introduction to focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM)

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