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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. For more than 30 years, Thermo Fisher Scientific has been continuously developing and optimizing sample preparation instruments and introducing software that enable in situ TEM sample preparation that allows researchers to accelerate their research and fast-track innovation.

Thermo Fisher Scientific has 30+ years of TEM sample preparation expertise. In 1993, we introduced 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.

TEM sample preparation is part of a multi-scale, multi-modal workflow that includes microCT, (P)FIB-SEM, and (S)TEM. First, data is acquired using the microCT, followed by data reconstruction and analysis using Thermo Scientific Avizo Software. Avizo Software visualizes the data and enables you to precisely locate the suitable regions of interest (ROI) for further exploration of the sample. When the ROI is identified, the workflow progresses through higher-resolution imaging and sample preparation with a plasma-focused ion beam (PFIB) DualBeam to atomic-scale analysis in a transmission electron microscope (TEM). When combined, these technologies provide a complete understanding of sample structure and composition, accelerating development of novel materials.

Automated S/TEM sample preparation in a multiscale workflow

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Resources


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 throughout by allowing unattended and even overnight operation.

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Webinar TEM Specimen Preparation

Toward “Damage-Free” TEM specimen preparation by Focused Ion Beam without Gallium

Diminish the challenges associated with focused ion beam (FIB) sample preparation for high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). Dr. Chengge Jiao, Staff Scientist of Applications Development at Thermo Fisher Scientific, explains how to tailor processing conditions and select the right FIB ion species for certain groups of materials to achieve optimized results.

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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 throughout by allowing unattended and even overnight operation.

Register now


Webinar TEM Specimen Preparation

Toward “Damage-Free” TEM specimen preparation by Focused Ion Beam without Gallium

Diminish the challenges associated with focused ion beam (FIB) sample preparation for high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM). Dr. Chengge Jiao, Staff Scientist of Applications Development at Thermo Fisher Scientific, explains how to tailor processing conditions and select the right FIB ion species for certain groups of materials to achieve optimized results.

Register now

Applications

Process control using electron microscopy

Process control using electron microscopy

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 and failure analysis using electron microscopy

Quality control and failure analysis

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&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.

 


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

Style Sheet for Instrument Cards Original
Thermo Scientific Helios Hydra plasma focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (DualBeam)

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 5 PFIB DualBeam

  • Gallium-free STEM and TEM sample preparation
  • Multi-modal subsurface and 3D information
  • Next-generation 2.5 μA xenon plasma FIB column

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

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, high-resolution (S)TEM imaging and flexible EDS
  • Available with high-resolution, high-brightness (cold) field emission guns
  • Available with Dual EDS for highest analytical throughput

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-quality, high-resolution (S)TEM imaging and accurate EDS
  • Available with high-resolution, high-brightness (cold) field emission gun
  • Available with in-column Super-X G2 EDS with ultimate cleanliness
Thermo Scientific Scios 2 plasma focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (DualBeam)

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

  • Fully automated in situ S/TEM sample preparation
  • Support of top-down, planar and inverted geometry
  • Highly configurable workflow
  • Easy to use, intuitive user interface

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