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Focused Ion Beam Laboratory

One of ARES most recently added analytical instruments is the Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system, which is one of FEI's most versatile models, the Quanta 3D FEG for 2D and 3D materials characterization and analysis.

FIB techniques are used in a variety of applications. The FIB can deposit material, drill holes, cut metal lines, prepare cross-sections for high magnifications Ion channeling contrast imaging, prepare thin cross-section samples for the TEM analysis and more.

Applications for the FIB include:

  • Specimen preparation for SEM, TEM, STEM, AES, EDS, Cross-sectional TEM analysis
  • Ion channeling contrast imaging by capturing secondary or backscattered electrons
  • Grain Size Analysis
  • Device modification - IC Circuit Editing/Debug
  • Micro-machining - example: trimming AFM tips, drilling patterns to make optical gratings and lenses

The FIB offer increased capabilities for the investigation of meteorites, lunar samples, IDPs (interplanetary dust particles), and experimental samples synthesized in ARES high-temperature and high-pressure experimental labs. FIB systems utilize a finely focused beam of gallium ions operated at low-beam currents for imaging and at high-beam currents for site-specific milling. Their versatility makes them popular for a wide variety of applications including advanced circuit edit, and revealing below-the-surface defects in advanced materials and devices.

The Quanta 3D Series features three SEM imaging modes (high vacuum, low vacuum, and ESEM) to accommodate the widest range of samples of any SEM. Integrated FIB adds cross-sectioning capabilities to expand the applications range. ESEM mode allows in-situ study of the dynamic behavior of materials at different humidity levels (up to 100% RH) and temperatures (up to 1500°C). The ARES FIB is also equipped with two XEDS detectors for chemical analysis, which includes spectrum collection and qualitative and quantitative Elemental Mapping.

Lab Leads
Lindsay Keller (281-483-6090), NASA
Zia Rahman (281-483-7198), Jacobs JETS
FIB Lab Instruments
FIB Lab Instruments