Sample preparation for scanning/transmission electron microscopy (S/TEM) analysis is considered to be one of the most critical but challenging and time-consuming tasks in materials characterization labs. Conventional methods used to prepare ultra-thin samples required for S/TEM are slow, typically requiring 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.

Thermo Fisher Scientific is building on over 25 years of expertise with DualBeam (FIB-SEM, focused ion beam – scanning electron microscopy) technology to give you cutting-edge sample preparation tools that are accessible, robust, and reliable. This begins with a highly stable column and high-quality source, which allows for excellent performance even at low voltages. Final polishing of the lamella using energies as low as 500 V greatly reduces damage, even to beam sensitive materials, and delivers unrivaled sample quality. For gallium-free sample preparation, Thermo Fisher Scientific has a broad portfolio of plasma FIB products, including the Thermo Scientific Helios Hydra DualBeam, which offers fast switching between four ion beam species; xenon, argon, oxygen, and nitrogen.

Additionally, Thermo Scientific SmartAlign Technology eliminates the need for any user alignments of the electron column, which not only minimizes maintenance, but also increases your productivity. Auto-tuning tools, embedded into the user interface, further increasing your ability to get high-quality images, tuning the image up to 10-times faster than standard manual alignment.

Quality hardware is supported by a suite of software solutions that enhance and simplify sample preparation. Thermo Scientific AutoTEM 5 Software enables fully automated in situ lamella preparation and lift-out, allowing even novice users to produce quality samples. This greatly expands the accessibility of the instrument, thereby increasing throughput as sample preparation is no longer reliant on expert operation. Moreover, full automation allows maximum utilization of system time with unattended overnight operation, resulting in greatly enhanced productivity.

S/TEM sample preparation with DualBeam instruments

Sample preparation with a FIB SEM tool, showing the protective layer.

1. Protective electron and ion beam deposition.

Sample preparation with a FIB SEM tool, showing trenching.

2. Trenching.

Sample preparation with a FIB SEM tool, showing undercutting and lamella lift out.

3. Undercutting and lamella lift out.

Sample preparation with a FIB SEM tool, showing sample thinning.

4. Sample thinning.

Sample preparation with a FIB SEM tool, showing a low energy final polish.

5. Low-energy final polishing.

TEM lamella sample preparation, showing the software interface and the resulting sample, imaged with SEM.
Example of a sample ready for in situ lift-out after chunking and undercutting, viewed both in the AutoTEM software interface and via SEM. The large fiducial on the side is used for chunking automation, while the smaller one on the lamella will be used later for final thinning automation.
Sample lamella prepared for STEM analysis.
Lamella made from a wide range of materials using a DualBeam. 1) Aluminum alloy, 2) an LED display, 3) cuprate superconductor Bi2212, 4) SrTiO₃, 5) a catalytic filter, and 6) polystyrene.
Gallium arsenide samples prepared with a DualBeam FIB SEM tool and imaged with STEM analysis.
Comparison of gallium arsenide (GaAs) S/TEM sample prepared by Ga (left), Xe (middle), and Ar (right).
Aluminum sample with milled lamella prepared for STEM analysis.
Aluminum sample, where a 5x6 array of S/TEM lamellas has been prepared with AutoTEM Software, fully unattended. Lamella were undercut and ready for lift-out in 6 hours.
Introducing Helios 5 DualBeam

Introducing Helios 5 DualBeam

Learn how advanced automation capabilities, increased robustness and stability enhancements in the Helios 5 and AutoTEM 5 software can significantly increase sample preparation throughput by allowing unattended and even overnight operation.

Register now

TEM lamella sample preparation, showing the software interface and the resulting sample, imaged with SEM.
Example of a sample ready for in situ lift-out after chunking and undercutting, viewed both in the AutoTEM software interface and via SEM. The large fiducial on the side is used for chunking automation, while the smaller one on the lamella will be used later for final thinning automation.
Sample lamella prepared for STEM analysis.
Lamella made from a wide range of materials using a DualBeam. 1) Aluminum alloy, 2) an LED display, 3) cuprate superconductor Bi2212, 4) SrTiO₃, 5) a catalytic filter, and 6) polystyrene.
Gallium arsenide samples prepared with a DualBeam FIB SEM tool and imaged with STEM analysis.
Comparison of gallium arsenide (GaAs) S/TEM sample prepared by Ga (left), Xe (middle), and Ar (right).
Aluminum sample with milled lamella prepared for STEM analysis.
Aluminum sample, where a 5x6 array of S/TEM lamellas has been prepared with AutoTEM Software, fully unattended. Lamella were undercut and ready for lift-out in 6 hours.
Introducing Helios 5 DualBeam

Introducing Helios 5 DualBeam

Learn how advanced automation capabilities, increased robustness and stability enhancements in the Helios 5 and AutoTEM 5 software can significantly increase sample preparation throughput by allowing unattended and even overnight operation.

Register now

Applications

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

Samples


Battery Research

Battery development is enabled by multi-scale analysis with microCT, SEM and TEM, Raman spectroscopy, XPS, and digital 3D visualization and analysis. Learn how this approach provides the structural and chemical information needed to build better batteries.

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Polymers Research

Polymer microstructure dictates the material’s bulk characteristics and performance. Electron microscopy enables comprehensive microscale analysis of polymer morphology and composition for R&D and quality control applications.

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Metals Research

Effective production of metals requires precise control of inclusions and precipitates. Our automated tools can perform a variety of tasks critical for metal analysis including; nanoparticle counting, EDS chemical analysis and TEM sample preparation.

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Catalysis Research

Catalysts are critical for a majority of modern industrial processes. Their efficiency depends on the microscopic composition and morphology of the catalytic particles; EM with EDS is ideally suited for studying these properties.

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Products

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Spectra 300

  • Highest-resolution structural and chemical information at the atomic level
  • Flexible high-tension range from 30-300 kV
  • Three lens condenser system

Spectra 200

  • High-resolution and contrast imaging for accelerating voltages from 30-200 kV
  • Symmetric S-TWIN/X-TWIN objective lens with wide-gap pole piece design of 5.4 mm
  • Sub-Angstrom STEM imaging resolution from 60 kV-200 kV

Themis ETEM

  • Precise control and knowledge of sample temperature
  • Improved sample stability, navigation, and assisted sample drift correction in x, y, and z axes
  • Advancing high-quality imaging and movie acquisition functions

Talos F200i TEM

  • High-quality S/TEM images and accurate EDS
  • Available with dual EDS technology
  • Best all-round in situ capabilities
  • Large field-of-view imaging at high speed

Talos F200S TEM

  • Precise chemical composition data
  • High performance imaging and precise compositional analysis for dynamic microscopy
  • Features Velox Software for fast and easy acquisition and analysis of multimodal data

Talos F200X TEM

  • High resolution and throughput in STEM imaging and chemical analysis
  • Add application-specific in situ sample holders for dynamic experiments
  • Features Velox Software for fast and easy acquisition and analysis of multimodal data

Talos F200C TEM

  • Flexible EDS analysis reveals chemical information
  • High-contrast, high-quality TEM and STEM imaging
  • Ceta 16 Mpixel CMOS camera provides large field of view and high read-out speed

Talos L120C

  • Increased stability
  • Multiple auto-functions
  • Quick sample exchange with robust vacuum system
  • High-quality cryo-imaging

Helios Hydra DualBeam

  • 4 fast switchable ion species (Xe, Ar, O, N) for optimized PFIB processing of a widest range of materials
  • Ga-free TEM sample preparation
  • Extreme high resolution SEM imaging

Helios 5 DualBeam

  • Fully automated, high-quality, ultra-thin TEM sample preparation
  • High throughput, high resolution subsurface and 3D characterization
  • Rapid nanoprototyping capabilities

Helios G4 PFIB DualBeam

  • High throughput large volume subsurface and 3D characterization
  • High-quality Ga+ free TEM samples
  • Extreme high resolution SEM imaging
  • Advanced ease of use and automation capabilities

Helios 5 Laser PFIB System

  • Fast, millimeter-scale cross sections
  • Statistically relevant deep subsurface and 3D data analysis
  • Shares all capabilities of the Helios 5 PFIB platform

Scios 2 DualBeam

  • Full support of magnetic and non-conductive samples
  • High throughput subsurface and 3D characterization
  • Advanced ease of use and automation capabilities

AutoTEM 5

  • Highest quality S/TEM sample preparation
  • Complete in situ S/TEM sample preparation workflow
  • Fully automated in-situ sample preparation

μPolisher

  • Potential to enable large number of novel, unexplored applications
  • Very low energy milling
  • Small spot size for precise local surface treatment

μHeater

  • Ultra-fast heating solution for in situ high resolution imaging
  • Fully integrated
  • Temperatures up to 1200 °C
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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.

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