DualBeam Microscope

Helios G4 PFIB CXe DualBeam for Materials Science

Enabling breakthrough innovations with DualBeam™ technology—faster and easier than ever before.

Helios G4 PFIB delivers unmatched capabilities for large volume 3D characterization, Ga+free sample preparation and precise micromachining. Helios G4 PFIB CXe is part of the fourth generation of the industry leading Helios DualBeam family. It combines the new PFIB 2.0 column and the Monochromated Elstar™ SEM column to deliver the most advanced focused ion- and electron beam performance.  Intuitive software and an unprecedented level of automation and ease-of-use provide observation and analysis of relevant subsurface volumes by scientists and engineers.





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The FEI Helios G4 PFIB CXe DualBeam enables you to:

  • Perform high-quality, large-volume 3D characterization, cross sectioning, and micromachining using the next-generation 2.5μA Xenon Plasma FIB (PFIB 2.0) Column.
  • Access multi-modal subsurface and 3D information with precise targeting of the region of interest using optional FEI Auto Slice & View™ 4 (AS&V4) Software.
  • Prepare high-quality Ga+ free TEM samples thanks to the PFIB 2.0 Column’s superior performance at all operating conditions and guided TEM sample preparation workflow.
  • Reveal the finest details using best-in-class Elstar™ SEM Electron Column with high-current UC+ monochromator technology, enabling sub-nanometer performance at low energies.
  • Precise sample navigation tailored to individual application needs thanks to the high flexibility 110 mm stage

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Highest quality large-volume subsurface and 3D information

The excellent high-current performance of the Helios G4 PFIB CXe DualBeam with optional AS&V4 Software enables the highest-quality, fully automated acquisition of large-volume 3D datasets in a multitude of modalities, including, among others, BSE imaging for maximum materials contrast, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) for compositional information, and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) for microstructural and crystallographic information. Combined with FEI Avizo 3D Visualization Software, it delivers a unique workflow solution for the highest-resolution, advanced 3D characterization and analysis at the nanometer scale.

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Publication list for Helios NanoLab for Materials Science

Title: Xe+ FIB Milling and Measurement of Amorphous Damage in Diamond
Authors: Brandon Van Leer, Ron Kelley, Arda Genc, and Aleksei Savenko
References: Microscopy and Microanalysis, Volume 22, Issue S3 (Proceedings of Microscopy & Microanalysis 2016) July 2016, pp. 178-179
DOI10.1017/S1431927616001744
Date: July 2016
Abstract
Title: Xe+ FIB Milling and Measurement of Amorphous Damage in Diamond
Authors: Brandon Van Leer, Ron Kelley, Arda Genc, and Aleksei Savenko
References: Microscopy and Microanalysis, Volume 22, Issue S3 (Proceedings of Microscopy & Microanalysis 2016) July 2016, pp. 178-179
DOI10.1017/S1431927616001744
Date: July 2016
Abstract: Micro- and nanomachining of diamond using focused ion beam (FIB) continues to generate interest in applications such as diamond anvil cells, photonic devices, micro-cantilevers and tools for imprinting applications. However, the milling rate of diamond by FIB is approximate 4X slower when compared to silicon using 30 kV Ga+ FIB. Recent instrumentation using PFIB technology and Xe+ ions offer increased milling rates because of their ability to deliver up to 30X more current compared to Ga+ FIBs. While the sputter rate of diamond using Ga+ and Xe+ differs only slightly (0.07 µm3 /nC [Ga] and 0.09 µm3 /nC [Xe]), the ability to use more current for micromachining will allow users to increase throughput significantly. Therefore, it is of interest to understand the amount of amorphous damage introduced into a sidewall of diamond. Previous results indicate that for a glancing angle ~0 degrees, up to 35 nm of amorphous damage is introduced by Ga+ FIB in single crystal diamond.
Title: High Spatial Resolution Evaluation of Residual Stresses in Shot Peened Specimens Containing Sharp and Blunt Notches by Micro-hole Drilling, Micro-slot Cutting and Micro-X-ray Diffraction Methods
Authors: B. Winiarsk, M. Benedetti, V. Fontanari, M. Allahkarami, J. C. Hanan, P. J. Withers
References: Experimental Mechanics October 2016, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 1449-1463
DOI10.1007/s11340-016-0182-x
Date: June 2016
Abstract
Title: High Spatial Resolution Evaluation of Residual Stresses in Shot Peened Specimens Containing Sharp and Blunt Notches by Micro-hole Drilling, Micro-slot Cutting and Micro-X-ray Diffraction Methods
Authors: B. Winiarsk, M. Benedetti, V. Fontanari, M. Allahkarami, J. C. Hanan, P. J. Withers
References: Experimental Mechanics October 2016, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 1449-1463
DOI10.1007/s11340-016-0182-x
Date: June 2016
Abstract: The moderately high lateral RS gradients (on the order of tens of MPa/μm) near shot peened notches in conjunction with the shallow treatment depth (some hundreds of microns) limit the application of far-field and/or high resolution synchrotron diffraction residual stress measurement techniques. Recently proposed Focused Ion Beam - Scanning Elecron Microscope - Digital Image Correlation (FIB-SEM-DIC) based micro mechanical stress relaxation methods for the measurement of residual stress at the micron scale became suitable techniques for local evaluation of residual stresses and stress gradients in shot peened specimens. In this paper ultra-high resolution (~0.5-0.8 μm depth and 5-10 μm lateral resolution) mechanical relaxation stress measurements were used to evaluate the stress variation local to individual peening dimples in ceramic (60-120 μm diameter beads) shot peened Al-7075-T651 double notched samples having 0.15, 0.5 and 2.0 mm radii using Micro-Hole Drilling (μHD), Micro-Slot Cutting (μSC) and micro X-ray Diffraction (μXRD) methods. The micron-sized sampling volumes enabled the stress to be evaluated in individual impact craters (dimples) showing significant point-to-point variation (~ +/−150 MPa) (with certain dimples even recording tensile stresses). After around 30 μm of layer removal the heavily deformed region had largely been removed and the stress profile became much more homogeneous. At this depth the μHD and μSC results were in good accord with those from μXRD measurements which sample over a much larger volume (~40 μm depth × 50 μm laterally) showing an in-plane compressive stress of around 150 MPa far from the notches with the residual stress rising to about 200 MPa at a blunt (2 mm) notch and 500 MPa for a sharp (0.15 mm) one. Further, these recorded variations of residual stresses were correlated with microstructural features, e.g. grains, networks of sub-surface cracks, intermetallics and highly deformed sub-surface regions, revealed by large volume Serial Sectioning Tomography using Plasma Xe+ Focus Ion Beam - Scanning Electron Microscope (PFIB-SEM), EDS and EBSD maps. This allowed for the first time characterize large volume (100 × 66 × 30 μm3) of shot peened regions with resolution of dozens of nanometers and correlate residual stress depth profiles with 3D microstructural features. Finally, in (Benedetti et al. 2016, Int. J. Fatigue) these RS measurements are used to reconstruct the RS field through finite element (FE) analyses.
Title: The five parameter grain boundary character distribution of α-Ti determined from three-dimensional orientation data
Authors: Madeleine N. Kelly , Krzysztof Glowinski , Noel T. Nuhfer , Gregory S. Rohrer 
References: Acta Materialia Volume 111, 1 June 2016, Pages 22-30  
Date: June 2016
Abstract
Title: The five parameter grain boundary character distribution of α-Ti determined from three-dimensional orientation data
Authors: Madeleine N. Kelly , Krzysztof Glowinski , Noel T. Nuhfer , Gregory S. Rohrer 
References: Acta Materialia Volume 111, 1 June 2016, Pages 22-30  
DOI10.1016/j.actamat.2016.03.029
Date: June 2016
Abstract: Commercially pure α-Ti was serial sectioned using a Xe plasma focused ion beam (PFIB) scanning electron microscope and orientation maps were obtained on the parallel layers by electron backscatter diffraction. The orientations and shapes of 13,900 grains and 92,100 grain faces were characterized. The mean number of faces per grain was 14.2. The grain boundaries were classified according to the three misorientation parameters and two grain boundary orientation parameters. There were more grain boundaries with 180°-twist and 180°-tilt character than expected in a random distribution. Furthermore, grain boundary planes with prismatic orientations were more common than those with basal orientations. The grain boundary with the greatest relative area had a 28°/[0001] misorientation and View the MathML source and View the MathML source grain boundary planes. Compared to earlier instruments with Ga-ion sources, the milling speed of the PFIB makes it possible to collect ten times more data in a comparable time.
Title: Large volume serial section tomography by Xe Plasma FIB dual beam microscopy
Authors: T.L. Burnett, R. Kelley, B. Winiarski, L. Contreras, M. Daly, A. Gholinia, M.G. Burke, P.J. Withers 
References: Ultramicroscopy, Volume 161, February 2016, Pages 119-129  
Date: November 2015
Abstract
Title: Large volume serial section tomography by Xe Plasma FIB dual beam microscopy
Authors: T.L. Burnett, R. Kelley, B. Winiarski, L. Contreras, M. Daly, A. Gholinia, M.G. Burke, P.J. Withers 
References: Ultramicroscopy, Volume 161, February 2016, Pages 119-129  
DOI10.1016/j.ultramic.2015.11.001
Date: November 2015
Abstract: Ga+ Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscopes (FIB-SEM) have revolutionised the level of microstructural information that can be recovered in 3D by block face serial section tomography (SST), as well as enabling the site-specific removal of smaller regions for subsequent transmission electron microscope (TEM) examination. However, Ga+ FIB material removal rates limit the volumes and depths that can be probed to dimensions in the tens of microns range. Emerging Xe+ Plasma Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope (PFIB-SEM) systems promise faster removal rates. Here we examine the potential of the method for large volume serial section tomography as applied to bainitic steel and WC-Co hard metals. Our studies demonstrate that with careful control of milling parameters precise automated serial sectioning can be achieved with low levels of milling artefacts at removal rates some 60× faster. Volumes that are hundreds of microns in dimension have been collected using fully automated SST routines in feasible timescales (<24 h) showing good grain orientation contrast and capturing microstructural features at the tens of nanometres to the tens of microns scale. Accompanying electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) maps show high indexing rates suggesting low levels of surface damage. Further, under high current Ga+ FIB milling WC-Co is prone to amorphisation of WC surface layers and phase transformation of the Co phase, neither of which have been observed at PFIB currents as high as 60 nA at 30 kV. Xe+ PFIB dual beam microscopes promise to radically extend our capability for 3D tomography, 3D EDX, 3D EBSD as well as correlative tomography.