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Enhanced efficiency in FIB-SEM

18th December 2019


Materials and life science researchers can now experience faster accessibility of deeper regions of interest when investigating samples in 3D. With the new extensions on the Crossbeam 350/550 and Atlas 5, users benefit from improvements in speed and data quality when performing multi-scale, multi-modal studies in materials, biomaterials and biological tissue investigations on resin-embedded biological specimens. 

Access of deeply buried structures and rapid fabrication of objects

Researchers who perform multi-scale, correlative studies using X-ray microscopy data to drive FIB-SEM site selections today can further enhance their workflows: the newly introduced, LaserFIB on the Crossbeam 350/550 enables the access of deeply buried structures in addition to rapid, gallium-free structure fabrication over large length scales. Users can perform laser work in a dedicated chamber to avoid contamination of the main instrument. A femtosecond laser added to the airlock provides massive material ablation in a short time while virtually eliminating laser-induced heat effects. The new tool is up to 50 times faster for large volume removal than equivalent workflows using a plasma ion source. The LaserFIB can be used to produce structures such as cantilevers, pillars for nanomechanical testing and for sample preparation in the Xradia Ultra X-ray microscope. Further applications are the creation of large cross sections for EBSD (electron backscattered diffraction) studies or whole TEM grids with guaranteed gallium free results.

Enhanced correlative workflows, tomography data quality and interactive data environment

Zeiss has introduced extensions of Atlas 5 for imaging, 3D Tomography and a toolkit for analysis and reporting. Enhanced correlative workflows are now included due to improvements in relocation of regions of interest when guiding LaserFIB or FIB-SEM workflows using X-Ray microscopy data. Users can take advantage of relocating regions of interest faster and more accurately. Once a region has been located, thin & fast tomography takes over. This is a method for tomogram acquisition, slice thickness measurement and improved visualisation and data processing with True-Z technology. True-Z measures each slice thickness in turn and reconstructs the tomogram accounting for variability in z slice thickness. This provides greater accuracy for the final reconstructed volume making 3D and 4D modeling more accurate and increasing precision of segmentation when investigating 3D volumes. 

Enhancements to a toolbox in Atlas 5 now enable each user to analyse, present and share results more effectively than ever. Correlated data of a multi-modal dataset is visible at one glance with simultaneous visualization of up to four imaging or analytic modalities. 





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