The FEI xT Nova NanoLab 200 combines a high resolution focussed ion beam (FIB) and a high resolution field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM). It was installed in 2004 and is a flagship instrument of Australian Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Facility (AMMRF). It was upgraded to PIA mode in 2011 for higher precision of ion milling on a new operating system.
The dual beam FIB is very useful for the investigation of material surface and subsurface. It could be applied to all dry solids, including metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and biomaterials etc. The operating software provides means of automatic programs for the preparation of TEM specimens, script driving micro-patterning, as well as three dimensional slicing and imaging.
A key advantage of the dual beam FIB is that it is suitable for the study on beam sensitive materials, for example, thin films. While the high energetic ion beam is used to image the sample surface or mill the cross session, it induces a certain level of beam damage by sputtering and implantation. To minimise the beam damage, SEM imaging is utilised during the initial setup period, and also to monitor the milling process.
The dual beam FIB has a built-in platinum gas injection system, which enables to form a thin layer of Pt deposition on the top of region of interest (ROI). It can be done slowly with the electron beam without any beam damage, or quickly with a weak ion beam with controllable damage on the top surface.
The dual beam FIB is also coupled with an Oxford Aztec EDS (X-ray) system. It is used to acquire X-ray emission spectra from the ROI, which enables elemental compositional and phase analysis.