ICAN: Focused Ion Beam

What is a focused ion beam microscope?

Imaging with SEM and FIB

Figure 2: SEM image of a cross-section through the electrode of a Lithium-ion battery.


Using the ion beam it is possible to structure your sample in x- and y- and to cut into the sample to create cross-sections. Examples are shown in figure 2 and figure 3.


Abbildung 4: Trench etched into GaAs with a width of 30nm using XeF2 gas (left). [3]. Set of trenches with widths between 15nm and 35nm etched by selective carbon etching and the electron beam (right).

Material deposition

Using Pt- or SiO2- containing precusor gases one can deposit conducting or isolating material locally on a sample to create contacts to certain areas of the samples or the protect sensitive surfaces prior to the creation of a cross-section. Figure 5 shows several Pt-strip lines that were depositied by this method.


Preparation of TEM-lamella

In a TEM one needs sample thicknesses below 100nm. With the FIB it is possible to cut such lamellas out of a bulk sample, as shown in figure 6. A huge benefit of the dual-beam approach in our system is, that one can precisely select the desired area using the electron beam. Our system offers the possibility to do STEM-analysis on the lamella as well. A resolution of 0.8nm is reached (figure 6, right).