The Thermo Scientific Helios 5 Hydra DualBeam (plasma focused ion beam scanning electron microscope, PFIB-SEM) can deliver four different ion species as the primary beam, allowing you to choose the ions that provide the best results for your samples and use cases, such as scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) sample preparation and 3D materials characterization.

You can switch easily between argon, nitrogen, oxygen, and xenon in under ten minutes without sacrifcing performance. This unprecedented flexibility significantly expands the potential application space of PFIB and enables research of ion-sample interactions to optimize existing use cases.

The Helios 5 Hydra DualBeam combines the new, innovative multi-ion-species plasma FIB (PFIB) column with the monochromated Thermo Scientific Elstar UC+ SEM Column to provide advanced focused ion- and electron-beam performance. Intuitive software and an unprecedented level of automation and ease-of-use allow observation and analysis of relevant subsurface volumes.

High-quality sample preparation is critical for successful high-resolution material analysis with STEM or TEM. It is also considered to be one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks in materials characterization labs. Conventional methods used to prepare ultra-thin samples required for S/TEM are slow and can require many hours, or even days, of effort by highly trained personnel. This is further complicated by the variety of different materials and the need for site-specific information. Plasma FIB, coupled with proprietary and innovative software for automation and ease of use, resolves many of these challenges. 

Xenon plasma FIB, for example, is the standard for gallium-free sample preparation, which is vital for sensitive samples such as aluminum-containing materials. The addition of fast switching between all four ion beam species of the Helios 5 Hydra DualBeam goes even further to meet the needs of each of your individual materials, allowing you to find the ideal conditions to prepare the highest quality samples possible.

The Helios 5 Hydra DualBeam opens new, unexplored applications in the life sciences by combining high-throughput plasma technology and high-resolution FIB-SEM tomography. Use the optimal ion beam for every sample thanks to state-of-the-art inductively coupled plasma (ICP) FIB with four ion species. Excellent surface quality is achieved for every sample, regardless of preparation method or resin type. In addition to higher milling throughput and sample compatibility, an advanced software suite facilitates consistent, high-quality, Ga-free, large-volume acquisition and 3D data analysis.

For life science research, the Helios Hydra DualBeam offers:

  • Milling without artifacts, regardless of sample preparation method
  • Fast and efficient milling to access 10× greater volumes than Ga-FIB milling
  • Fully automated 3D data collection, higher throughput when combined with Auto Slice & View Software
  • Nanometer-thick serial sectioning of large horizontal surfaces (up to 1 mm in diameter) with Spin Mill
  • A versatile solution for multi-user environment, compatible with a wide range of samples and experimental questions

Want to learn more?

3D reconstruction of a mouse hippocampal organotypic slice culture.
3D reconstruction of a mouse hippocampal organotypic slice culture. Image courtesy of S. Watanabe, John Hopkins University.

Key Features

Large application space

Largest application space with unique ion source delivering four fast, switchable ion species: Xe, Ar, O, N

High throughput and quality

High-throughput, high-quality, and statistically relevant 3D characterization, cross sectioning and micromachining using the next-generation 2.5 μA plasma FIB column.

Advanced automation

Fastest and easiest, automated, multi-site in situ and ex situ TEM sample preparation and cross-sectioning using optional AutoTEM 5 Software

High-quality sample preparation

High-quality gallium-free TEM and APT sample preparation with xenon, argon or oxygen thanks to the new PFIB column enabling 500 V final polishing and delivering superior performance at all operating conditions.

Short time to nanoscale

Shortest time to nanoscale information for users with any experience level with SmartAlign and FLASH technologies

Complete sample information

The most complete sample information with sharp, refined and charge-free contrast obtained from up to six integrated in-column and below-the-lens detectors

Electron and ion beam-induced deposition and etching

Most advanced capabilities for electron and ion beam-induced deposition and etching on DualBeam systems with optional Thermo Scientific MultiChem or GIS Gas Delivery Systems.

Precise sample navigation

Tailored to individual application needs thanks to the high stability and accuracy of the 150 mm Piezo stage or the flexible 110 mm stage and optional in-chamber Thermo Scientific Nav-Cam Camera.

Artifact-free imaging

Based on integrated sample cleanliness management and dedicated imaging modes such as SmartScan and DCFI Modes


Specifications

Style Sheet for Products Table Specifications
  Helios 5 Hydra CX DualBeam Helios 5 Hydra UX DualBeam
Electron beam resolution
  • At optimum WD:
    • 0.7 nm at 1 kV
    • 1.0 nm at 500 V (ICD)
  • At coincident point:
    • 0.6 nm at 15 kV
    • 1.2 nm at 1 kV
Electron beam parameter space
  • Electron beam current range: 0.8 pA to 100 nA at all accelerating voltages
  • Accelerating voltage range: 350 V – 30 kV
  • Landing energy range: 20* eV – 30 keV
  • Maximum horizontal field width: 2.3 mm at 4 mm WD
Ion optics

High-performance PFIB column with unique inductively coupled plasma (ICP) source supporting four ion species with fast switching capability

  • Ion species (primary ion beam): Xe, Ar, O, N
  • Switching time <10 minutes, only software operation
  • Ion beam current range: 1.5 pA to 2.5 µA
  • Accelerating voltage range: 500V – 30 kV
  • Maximum horizontal field width: 0.9 mm at beam coincidence point 

Xe Ion beam resolution at coincident point

  • <20 nm at 30 kV using preferred statistical method
  • <10 nm at 30 kV using selective edge method
Chamber
  • E- and I-beam coincidence point at analytical WD (4 mm SEM)
  • Ports: 21
  • Inside width: 379 mm
  • Integrated plasma cleaner
Detectors
  • Elstar Column in-lens SE/BSE detector (TLD-SE, TLD-BSE)
  • Elstar Column in-column SE/BSE detector (ICD)*
  • Everhart-Thornley SE detector (ETD)
  • IR camera for viewing sample/column
  • High-performance in-chamber electron and ion detector (ICE) for secondary ions (SI) and electrons (SE)
  • In-chamber Nav-Cam Sample Navigation Camera*
  • Retractable low-voltage, high-contrast directional solid-state backscatter electron detector (DBS)*
  • Integrated beam current measurement 
 
Stage and sample

Flexible, five-axis motorized stage:

  • XY range: 110 mm
  • Z range: 65 mm
  • Rotation: 360° (endless)
  • Tilt range: -38° to +90°
  • XY repeatability: 3 μm
  • Max sample height: Clearance 85 mm to eucentric point
  • Max sample weight at 0° tilt: 5 kg (including sample holder)
  • Max sample size: 110 mm with full rotation (larger samples possible with limited rotation)
  • Compucentric rotation and tilt

High-precision, five-axis motorized stage with Piezo-driven XYR axis

  • XY range: 150 mm
  • Z range: 10 mm
  • Rotation: 360° (endless)
  • Tilt range: -38° to +60°
  • XY repeatability: 1 μm
  • Max sample height: Clearance 55 mm to eucentric point
  • Max sample weight at 0° tilt: 500 g (including sample holder)
  • Max sample size: 150 mm with full rotation (larger samples possible with limited rotation)
  • Compucentric rotation and tilt

* Available as an option, configuration dependent

Style Sheet for Techniques (LONG VERSION) and Media Gallery Tab

Latest application developments of multiple ion species plasma FIB technology

Register for our live webinar and learn how leading research labs are using our new Thermo Scientific™ Helios 5 Laser PFIB and Thermo Scientific™ Helios™ 5 Hydra™ DualBeam to advance their materials characterization.

Register now

 

3D reconstruction of a mouse hippocampal organotypic slice culture
3D reconstruction of a mouse hippocampal organotypic slice culture acquired using O+ focused ion beam. Sample preparation: High pressure frozen 5 ms after electrical stimulus. Freeze substitution (Acetone, Os1%, UA 0.1% and Epon). No sputter coating of conductive layer applied. 41 slices (thickness ~ 10 nm). Acquisition time ~7 hours. HFW 11.8 µm (xy resolution 1.9 nm). Courtesy Prof. Shigeki Watanabe, John Hopkins University, and Dr. Jing Wang, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
3D reconstruction of an automotive oil filter casing, acquired with the Helios Hydra DualBeam and Auto Slice & View 4 Software for automated serial sectioning. Horizontal field width = 350 µm.

3D reconstruction of a mouse brain tissue acquired with a Helios Hydra UX DualBeam using O+ focused ion beam. Sample preparation: Conventional cemical fixation. Epon resin. 721 slices (thickness ~ 4 nm). HFW 16.4 µm (xy resolution 5x4 nm). Acquisition time ~ 17 h.

3D reconstruction of Caenorhabditis elegans L1 with a Helios Hydra CX DualBeam using O+ focused ion beam. Sample preparation: high pressure frozen and freeze substituted and HM20 embedded. Tomogram of a 30 × 30 × 15 µm (resolution ~10 x ×10 x ×15 nm). Acquisition time ~ 16 h. Courtesy Dr. Alex DeMarco, Monash University, Australia.
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/457820v1.full.pdf

Latest application developments of multiple ion species plasma FIB technology

Register for our live webinar and learn how leading research labs are using our new Thermo Scientific™ Helios 5 Laser PFIB and Thermo Scientific™ Helios™ 5 Hydra™ DualBeam to advance their materials characterization.

Register now

 

3D reconstruction of a mouse hippocampal organotypic slice culture
3D reconstruction of a mouse hippocampal organotypic slice culture acquired using O+ focused ion beam. Sample preparation: High pressure frozen 5 ms after electrical stimulus. Freeze substitution (Acetone, Os1%, UA 0.1% and Epon). No sputter coating of conductive layer applied. 41 slices (thickness ~ 10 nm). Acquisition time ~7 hours. HFW 11.8 µm (xy resolution 1.9 nm). Courtesy Prof. Shigeki Watanabe, John Hopkins University, and Dr. Jing Wang, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
3D reconstruction of an automotive oil filter casing, acquired with the Helios Hydra DualBeam and Auto Slice & View 4 Software for automated serial sectioning. Horizontal field width = 350 µm.

3D reconstruction of a mouse brain tissue acquired with a Helios Hydra UX DualBeam using O+ focused ion beam. Sample preparation: Conventional cemical fixation. Epon resin. 721 slices (thickness ~ 4 nm). HFW 16.4 µm (xy resolution 5x4 nm). Acquisition time ~ 17 h.

3D reconstruction of Caenorhabditis elegans L1 with a Helios Hydra CX DualBeam using O+ focused ion beam. Sample preparation: high pressure frozen and freeze substituted and HM20 embedded. Tomogram of a 30 × 30 × 15 µm (resolution ~10 x ×10 x ×15 nm). Acquisition time ~ 16 h. Courtesy Dr. Alex DeMarco, Monash University, Australia.
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/457820v1.full.pdf

Applications

Process Control_Thumb_274x180_144DPI

Process Control

Modern industry demands high throughput with superior quality, a balance that is maintained through robust process control. SEM and TEM tools with dedicated automation software provide rapid, multi-scale information for process monitoring and improvement.

 

Quality Control_Thumb_274x180_144DPI

Quality Control

Quality control and assurance are essential in modern industry. We offer a range of EM and spectroscopy tools for multi-scale and multi-modal analysis of defects, allowing you to make reliable and informed decisions for process control and improvement.

Fundamental Materials Research_R&amp;D_Thumb_274x180_144DPI

Fundamental Materials Research

Novel materials are investigated at increasingly smaller scales for maximum control of their physical and chemical properties. Electron microscopy provides researchers with key insight into a wide variety of material characteristics at the micro- to nano-scale.

 

3D Materials Characterization

Development of materials often requires multi-scale 3D characterization. DualBeam instruments enable serial sectioning of large volumes and subsequent SEM imaging at nanometer scale, which can be processed into high-quality 3D reconstructions of the sample.

Learn more ›

(S)TEM Sample Preparation

DualBeam microscopes enable the preparation of high-quality, ultra-thin samples for (S)TEM analysis. Thanks to advanced automation, users with any experience level can obtain expert-level results for a wide range of materials.

Learn more ›

APT Sample Preparation

Atom probe tomography (APT) provides atomic-resolution 3D compositional analysis of materials. Focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy is an essential technique for high-quality, orientation, and site-specific sample preparation for APT characterization.

Learn more ›

Cross-sectioning

Cross sectioning provides extra insight by revealing sub-surface information. DualBeam instruments feature superior focused ion beam columns for high-quality cross sectioning. With automation, unattended high-throughput processing of samples is possible.

Learn more ›

In Situ experimentation

Direct, real-time observation of microstructural changes with electron microscopy is necessary to understand the underlying principles of dynamic processes such as recrystallization, grain growth, and phase transformation during heating, cooling, and wetting.

Learn more ›

Multi-scale analysis

Novel materials must be analyzed at ever higher resolution while retaining the larger context of the sample. Multi-scale analysis allows for the correlation of various imaging tools and modalities such as X-ray microCT, DualBeam, Laser PFIB, SEM and TEM.

Learn more ›

3D Materials Characterization

Development of materials often requires multi-scale 3D characterization. DualBeam instruments enable serial sectioning of large volumes and subsequent SEM imaging at nanometer scale, which can be processed into high-quality 3D reconstructions of the sample.

Learn more ›

(S)TEM Sample Preparation

DualBeam microscopes enable the preparation of high-quality, ultra-thin samples for (S)TEM analysis. Thanks to advanced automation, users with any experience level can obtain expert-level results for a wide range of materials.

Learn more ›

APT Sample Preparation

Atom probe tomography (APT) provides atomic-resolution 3D compositional analysis of materials. Focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy is an essential technique for high-quality, orientation, and site-specific sample preparation for APT characterization.

Learn more ›

Cross-sectioning

Cross sectioning provides extra insight by revealing sub-surface information. DualBeam instruments feature superior focused ion beam columns for high-quality cross sectioning. With automation, unattended high-throughput processing of samples is possible.

Learn more ›

In Situ experimentation

Direct, real-time observation of microstructural changes with electron microscopy is necessary to understand the underlying principles of dynamic processes such as recrystallization, grain growth, and phase transformation during heating, cooling, and wetting.

Learn more ›

Multi-scale analysis

Novel materials must be analyzed at ever higher resolution while retaining the larger context of the sample. Multi-scale analysis allows for the correlation of various imaging tools and modalities such as X-ray microCT, DualBeam, Laser PFIB, SEM and TEM.

Learn more ›

Contact us

Electron microscopy services for
the materials science

To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.

Style Sheet for Support and Service footer
Style Sheet for Fonts
Style Sheet for Cards