Focused Ion Beam Center UUlm

The FIB Center UUlm has two high-resolution FEI dual beam microscopes:

Helios Nanolab 600 und Quanta FEG 3D

Both systems are equipped with an electron column and ion column arranged in a 52º angle; both focused beams have a coincident focus point in the eucentric plane. Hence, a maskless modification of specimens (gas-assisted etching, milling, deposition, etc.) with the ion beam can be simultaneously imaged, monitored or analyzed with the electron beam. The “slice and view” module allows a fully automated serial sectioning providing a stack of images, which leads to a 3D dataset of the sectioned volume.


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Helios Nanolab 600

The Helios Nanolab 600 has an ElstarTM electron column and a SidewinderTM ion column. In addition, it is equipped with an Omniprobe lift out system for TEM sample preparation. Lamellas prepared by FIB (Auto TEM software) can be transferred to a TEM grid for further thinning of the lamella. The Helios Nanolab 600 is also equipped with a cryo system and a cryo transfer chamber (Quorum) for fast freezing of samples and transfer into the specimen chamber. FIB milling as well as SEM imaging can be performed under cryogenic conditions. In combination with FIB, the cryo system provides an alternative to micro tomography regarding to preparation of facets.

In addition, the NanoBuilderTM software module allows rapid prototyping of complex structures using electron and ion beam induced deposition or gas-assisted etching processes.


Technical specifications

Ion optics (Sidewinder™ column)

Liquid Ga ion source
FIB Res. 5 nm (@ 30 kV)
Field emission SEM

SEM (Schottky field emitter)
Res. 0.9 nm @ 15 kV
Piezo-controlled stage

x,y: 150 mm, z: 10 mm
6 inch wafer holder

Beam Chemistry

Pt deposition
Insulator Enhanced etch, IEE (XeF2)
Selective Carbon Mill, SCE


Quorum Cryosystem
AutoTEM ™

Quanta 3D FEG

The Quanta 3D FEG is equipped with a state of the art SDD Apollo XV EDX detector (EDAX) for fast and precise qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis, and therefore more focused on analysis of materials. A DigiView 4 EBSD detector (EDAX) enables crystallographic investigations of specimens concerning grain orientations and textures.

In addition, the Quanta 3D FEG can be operated in ESEM mode. In this configuration the SEM is operated at a significant higher pressure (up to 4000 Pa) using water vapor to raise the pressure to the desired level. The water molecules remove charges built up by the electron beam allowing the investigation of non-conducting specimen without coating. ESEM mode can be used in combination with EDX and EBSD detectors. The ESEM mode can be used to investigate “wet” specimen.


Technical specifications

Ion optics

Liquid Ga ion source
FIB Res. 7 nm (@ 30 kV)
Field emission SEM

SEM (Schottky field emitter)
Three imaging modes:
Beam current

1.5 pA -65 nA in 15 steps
    - high vacuum 
   - low vacuum   

   - Environmental SEM (ESEM™)

x,y: 50 mm, z: 25 mm
High vacuum: 1.2 nm at 30 kV (SE)
Low vacuum: 1.5 nm at 30 kV (SE)
ESEM: 1.5 nm at 30 kV (SE)

Beam Chemistry

Pt, SiO2 deposition
Insulator Enhanced etch (IEE) XeF2
Auto Slice and View™


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  • Y. Liu, M. Sairi, G. Neusser, C. Kranz, D. W. M. Arrigan, Achievement of Diffusional Independence at Nanoscale Liquid–Liquid Interfaces within Arrays, Analytical Chemistry, 87, 5486–5490 (2015), DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.5b01602
  • M. Madel, G. Neusser, U. Simon, B. Mizaikoff, K. Thonke, c-plane ZnO on a-plane sapphire: Inclusion of (1101) domains, Journal of Crystal Growth, 419, 128-132 (2015)
  • M. Sairi, N. Chen-Tan, G. Neusser, C. Kranz, Damien W. M. Arrigan, "Electrochemical Characterisation of Nanoscale Liquid|Liquid Interfaces Located at Focused Ion Beam-Milled Silicon Nitride Membranes", ChemElectroChem, 2, 98-105  (2015)
  • A. Eifert, B. Mizaikoff, C. Kranz, "Advanced fabrication process for combined atomic force-scanning electrochemical microscopy (AFM-SECM) probes", Micron, 68, 27-35 (2015).
  • N. Hibst, P. Knittel, C. Kranz, B. Mizaikoff, S. Strehle, “Beam-Deposited Platinum as Versatile Catalyst for Bottom-Up Silicon Nanowire Synthesis”, Applied Physics Letters, 105, 153110, (2014).
  • L. J. Rogers, K. D. Jahnke, T. Teraji, L. Marseglia, C. Mueller, B. Naydenov, H. Schauffert, C. Kranz, J. Isoya, L. P. McGuinness, F. Jelezko, "Multiple identical single photon emitters in diamond",  Nature Communication , 5, (2014), DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5739.
  • L. L. Kegel, S.-S. Kim, B. Mizaikoff, C. Kranz, K. S. Booksh, "Position Dependent Plasmonic Interaction Between a Single Nanoparticle and a Nanohole Array", Plasmonics, 9, 1229–1237 (2014).
  • A. Eifert, P. Langenwalther, J. Higl, M. Linden, C. E. Nebel, B. Mizaikoff, C. Kranz, "Focused ion beam (FIB)-induced changes in the electrochemical behavior of boron-doped diamond electrodes", Electrochimica Acta, 130, 418-425 (2014).
  • P. Knittel, M. J. Higgins, C. Kranz", Nanoscopic polypyrrole AFM-SECM probes enabling force measurements under potential control", Nanoscale, 6 2255- 2260 (2014).
  • C. Villinger, M. Schauflinger, H. Gregorius, C. Kranz, K. Höhn, S. Nafeey, P. Walther, Three-Dimensional Imaging of Adherent Cells using 2FIB/SEM and STEM, in Electron Microscopy: Methods and Protocols, Methods in Molecular Biology John Kuo (ed.), Vol. 1117, 617-638 (2014).
  • T. Schädle, A. Eifert, C. Kranz, Y. Raichlin, A. Katzir, B. Mizaikoff, "Mid-Infrared Planar Silver Halide Waveguides with Integrated Grating Couplers", Applied Spectroscopy, 67, 1057-1063 (2013).
  • C. Villinger, H. Gregorius, C. Kranz, K. Höhn, C. Münzberg, G. von Wichert, B. Mizaikoff, G. Wanner, P.Walther, "FIB/SEM-tomography with TEM-like resolution for 3D imaging of high pressure frozen cells", Histochem. Cell Biol., 138, 549-556 (2012).
  • A. Eifert, W. Smirnov, S. Frittmann, C. Nebel, B. Mizaikoff, C. Kranz, "Atomic force microscopy probes with integrated boron doped diamond electrodes: Fabrication and application", Electrochem. Commun., 25, 30-34 (2012).
  • W. Smirnov, A. Kriele, R. Hoffmann, E. Sillero, J. Hees, O. A. Williams, N. Yang, C. Kranz, C. E. Nebel, "Diamond-Modified AFM Probes: From Diamond Nanowires to Atomic Force Microscopy-Integrated Boron-Doped Diamond Electrodes“, Anal. Chem., 83(12), 4936-4941 (2011).




GIT Labor-Fachzeitschrift (11/2012, S. 787)

Uni Ulm Intern (04/2011)