Focused Ion Beam (FIB)

FIB is a method used for analysis, deposition, edit and ablation of materials at a specific site.  FIB is very similar to SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) except, that FIB uses a focused ion beam and SEM uses a focused electron beam to image a specimen inside a chamber.  Advanced FIB equipment can incorporate both beams (Ion & Electron) in its chamber.  This allows the lab to use either feature to investigate the sample.  FIB systems’s focused ion beam (usually gallium) can be used for imaging at lower beam current and for sputtering or milling at higher beam current on a specific site.

If the sample is non-conductive, a low energy electron beam can be used to provide charge neutralization. In this manner, by imaging with positive secondary ions using the positive primary ion beam, even highly insulated samples can be imaged and milled without a conducting surface coating, as would be required in a SEM. We operate different FIB systems to meet our customers requirements.