Focused Ion Beam

Focused Ion Beam

Dual-beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
Complete nanotechnology lab in one tool

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A focused ion beam (FIB) instrument is almost identical to a SEM but uses a beam of ions rather than electrons – in this case Ga+ ions. The focused ion beam can directly modify or mill the specimen surface, via the sputtering process, and this milling can be controlled with nm precision. A Dual-Beam combines SEM and FIB.

The electron and ion beams intersect at a 52° angle at a coincident point near the sample surface, allowing immediate, high resolution SEM imaging of the FIB-milled surface.

For more information on FIB:

FIB, SEM, Sample preparation, Physical characterisation


FEI Helios Nanolab 600i
  • STEM mode with BF and HAADF detectors (0.8nm resolution)
  • Oxford Instruments X-MAX 80 for high productivity EDS analysis
  • Cryo preparation for liquid and gel-like materials
  • Sample size up to 6” wafers
Tescan Amber X FIB-SEM
A combination of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) microscope. The configuration in FIB-SEM systems is such that the electron and ion beam focal points coincide, which results in the optimisation for many applications. The use of Xe-ions makes the milling much faster than conventional Ga FIBs.
Tescan Solaris FIB-SEM
A combination of Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Capable of inspecting 200mm wafers. Oxford Aztec UltiMax 170 EDX elemental analysis system attached.

Ascent+ facility

Platform Technologies

  • Nano for Quantum Technologies
  • Disruptive Devices

Key Enabling Capability

  • Metrology / Characterisation: Physical characterisation

Case Study
A researcher is working on surface-enhanced Raman scattering/spectroscopy (SERS). A noble metallic nano-surface is required for SERS substrate. Using physical characterisation (SEM/TEM and FIB) both the cross-section and surface of the fabricated 2D gold nanoparticle array are investigated. The results provide information on the diameter and topography of the Au nano-balls. The deposition process is then optimised to obtain the required optical behaviour. [Click here for more details]

Additional information

Key Enabling Capability

Metrology / Characterisation

Platform Technology

Disruptive Devices, Nano for Quantum Technologies