FEI Unveils New Solutions for Faster Time-to-Analysis in Metals Research
Product News Aug 05, 2014
FEI has announced two new products that speed up the imaging and analysis time for metals researchers and industrial failure analysis labs. The Helios™ PFIB DualBeam™, the first DualBeam within FEI’s product portfolio to include a plasma-based focused ion beam (PFIB), mills 20 - 50 times faster than gallium-based FIBs to deliver rapid, three-dimensional (3D) imaging and analysis.
The Teneo™ scanning electron microscope (SEM) provides high-resolution, high-contrast images and fast, precise analytical results, enabling researchers to clearly resolve grain boundaries, interfaces and structure/topography of difficult-to-image magnetic and nonconductive samples.
“Global investment in metals research is increasing for industrial, building and environmental applications,” states Trisha Rice, vice president and general manager of Materials Science for FEI. “Successful characterization of metals and magnetic materials requires high-resolution, high-contrast images and fast, precise analytical results. In addition, the ability to mill very quickly through large features and zoom in to image and analyze fine details is also important in multi-scale analysis, which involves connecting macro-scale properties of materials to nano-scale structure. Our new Helios PFIB DualBeam significantly increases milling speed as well as the size of features that can be studied.”
Current gallium-based FIBs have been used traditionally to prepare TEM samples, perform cross-sections and provide 3D analysis, but the scales are limited due to the time that the milling process requires, which can be many days for larger scales.
The Helios PFIB DualBeam can do the same work in hours, increasing throughput and the size of features that can be studied. In addition to metals research, the delamination of paints and coatings and analysis of grain boundaries, thin films, interfaces and adhesion layers are potential application for the new Helios PFIB DualBeam.
“The Vion™ PFIB was the first FEI product to incorporate plasma source technology when we launched it three years ago as a single-beam FIB for failure analysis of advanced integrated circuits,” states Rice. “We understand this technology and our customers’ needs in great detail. The knowledge we gained from our experience with the single beam tool has enabled us to design the new DualBeam with key features that specifically address the challenges of integrating a fast-milling plasma FIB in a DualBeam system.”
Rice adds, “Our new Teneo SEM meets the needs of metal researchers for powerful imaging and highly precise analysis. At the same time, its flexibility and high performance over a broad range of applications make it an excellent solution for multi-user laboratories.”
The Teneo SEM includes a unique, non-immersion objective lens that is specifically-designed to deliver high-resolution on magnetic materials. Together, this lens and FEI’s Trinity™ detection scheme deliver high image contrast from a wide variety of materials, especially magnetic materials, alloys and composites. Fast analytical capabilities, including energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), are supported by high-beam current and full 90-degree stage tilt.
The highly-configurable platform includes optional low-vacuum capability for imaging of nonconductive samples, such as glass, ceramics and polymers. Multi-user laboratory environments will also benefit from the ease-of-use of the Teneo SEM, for example, most users, regardless of experience level, can leverage step-by-step workflows to get useful results more quickly.