High throughput Dual Beam (Ar+ ions and electrons) FIB-FEGSEM station for SEM characterization of materials and life-science samples (including secondary, backscattered and STEM imaging; XEDS microanalysis and EBSD), TEM/STEM sample preparation from bulk samples/devices, 3D structural and analytical characterization of micron-sized volumes by the slice-and-view (FIB tomography) approach and nanopatterning. All these techniques can be performed at cryogenic, liquid N2, temperatures since a cryostat is also available in this equipment.
  • Scanning electron microscopy imaging in secondary and backscattered modes with nanometer resolution.
  • Scanning Transmission electron microscopy imaging in different modes.
  • Preparation of electron-transparent lamellae for TEM/STEM studies from any type of organic/inorganic materials, starting from bulk samples and selecting the regions of interest with nanometer resolution through ion beam milling and thinning.
  • Structural (SEM, BSE) and analytical (XEDS) Tomography of micrometer-sized volumes using the slice and view (FIB tomography) technique.
  • Phase and orientation mapping using Electron Backscattered Diffraction maps.
  • Nanopatterning using Ga+ ion beams.
  • Accelerating voltage (electrons): 200 eV to 30 keV (20 eV landing energy with Beam Deceleration)
  • Electron beam current: 1 pA to 400 nA
  • Resolution (with electrons): 0.7 nm at 30 kV (STEM), 1.0 nm at 30 kV (SEM), 1.4 nm (1.2 with beam deceleration) at 1 kV (SEM)
  • Accelerating voltage (Ga+ beam): 500 V to 30 kV
  • Ion beam current: 1.5 pA – 65 nA
  • Resolution (Ga+ beam): 3.0 nm
  • Pt, C and selective carbon mill gas injectors
  • 5-axis motorized stage
  • EasyLift EX nano-manipulator with orthogonal axis and motorized compucentric rotation navigation system.
  • Fully automized FIB lamellae preparation through AutoTEM4 software
  • AutoSlice and View image and analytical software packages.
  • Oxford instruments Ultim Extreme 100 mm2 detection area XEDS system
  • Oxford instruments C-Nano EBSD system
  • Integrated Plasma Cleaner
  • Cryo-stage for operation at L-N2 temperature.

STEM characterization of thin-films. Thermochromic VO2-Boroflat smart glasses. (A) SEM image; (B) HAADF and composite elemental map from a FIB lamellae prepared in cross-section; (C) line profile analysis; (D) HREM image of the VO2–Borofloat glass substrate interphase and digital diffraction pattern (inset); (E) simulated electron diffraction patterns of two different VO2 phases under kinematic conditions.


Nanoscopic and atomic scale characterization of catalytic devices. Combining lamellae preparation by FIBSEM and STEM studies for the analysis of washcoating-layers in honeycomb-type catalytic monoliths. (a) STEM-HAADF image of a lamella prepared from a Mn-Cu/Cordierite monolith. XEDS maps of the different elements involved in the system are shown at the right; (b) Detail of the Mn-CuOx catalyst porous washcoated layer and STEM-XEDS analysis showing intermixing of Al2O3 and Mn-CuOx during the washcoating process.


Nanoscopic and atomic scale characterization of catalytic devices. Combining lamellae preparation by FIBSEM and STEM studies for the analysis of CeO2-ZrO2 washcoating-layers in highly stable honeycomb-type monoliths for Methane Dry Reforming. The composite STEM-XEDS map shown at the right allows determining the spatial distribution of the different components of both the monolith substrate and the wascoated catalysts with subnanometric resolution.