Focused Ion Beam (FIB)

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Focused Ion Beam (FIB)
Nuclear Materials

The Focussed Ion Beam (FIB) is a dual beam system, meaning it can image at high resolution using an electron beam, as well as mill features into the surface of a sample using a high-energy gallium ion beam to remove material via sputtering. In addition, a precise manipulator needle enables micron-scale specimens to be lifted out of the sample surface.

FEI Helios NanoLab 600i

Schottky thermal field-emission electron gun, 1.4 nm resolution at 1 kV

Gallium ion source for milling, 4.5 nm resolution at 30 kV

Voltage ranges and probe currents

Electron-beam: 350 V – 30 kV, 0.7 pA – 22 nA

Ion-beam: 500 V – 30 kV, 0.1 pA – 65 nA


1x – 1,000,000x

High-precision, 5-axes motorized stage

Gas injection system

Platinum deposition

Tungsten deposition

Carbon deposition

Easy lift nano-manipulator

Drift < 50 nm/minute

Minimum step size 50 nm

True ‘z’ movement

Vibration < 15 nm


Micro-machining using the FIB enables site-specific examination of a sample. Mechanical test pieces, such as pillars for compression or cantilevers for bend tests, can be manufactured as well as thin films, which can then be taken away for microstructural characterisation in a transmission electron microscope.

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