FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 FIB-SEM


The FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 is a highly advanced dual beam FIB-SEM platform for imaging and analytical measurements, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) sample and atom probe (AP) needle preparation, process development and process control. For these purposes, the FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 combines an ElstarTM UC technology electron column for high-resolution and high material contrast imaging with the high-performance TomahawkTM ion column for fast and precise sample preparation. The FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 is additionally equipped with the MultiChemTM gas delivery system, an EasyLiftTM nanomanipulator, a cooling trap, an inert gas transfer (IGT) holder loadlock, a quick loader, a FlipStage 3TM, an EDX-System and an STEM III detector. This instrument is one of the few dual beam systems which combine an IGT holder loadlock with a FlipStage 3+TM EasyLiftTM nanomanipulator. Typical examples of use and technical specifications for the instrument are given below.

The FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) via the project SABLE (SABLE-Skalenübergreifende, multi-modale 3D-Bildgebung Elektrochemischer Hochleistungskomponenten) under support code 03EK3543.

Typical Applications and Limitations of Use

The configuration of the FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 allows a variety of advanced imaging and preparation techniques to be applied to wide bunch of solid state materials. These techniques include TEM sample preparation (normal- and backside milling) without breaking the vacuum (with Flipstage 3), STEM imaging on thin TEM samples (with STEM 3 detector), slice and view operation (automatic), needle preparation for tomography, atom probe sample preparation, plan-view preparation and the preparation of lamellas on heating chips for TEM annealing experiments. Making use of the IGT-loadlock, even samples who are not allowed to be supposed to air can be prepared on any of the previously described ways except needle and atom probe preparation.

The FEI Helios NanoLab 460F1 is not intended for the investigation of aqueous, ferromagnetic or organic samples without further discussions with both of the instruments officers and the ER-C general management.

Sample Environment

The vacuum is about 10-7 mbar under normal operating conditions.

Technical Specifications

Electron landing voltage20 V … 30 kV
Ion landing voltage500 V … 30 kV
Electron beam current≤ 0.1 µA
Ion beam current≤ 65 nA
Electron sourceSchottky thermal field emitter
Resolution optimal WD(SEM) @ 2 … 15 kV< 0.6 nm
Resolution optimal WD(SEM) @ 1 kV< 0.7 nm
Resolution optimal WD (SEM) @ 200 V with beam deceleration< 1.5 nm
Resolution (STEM)< 0.6 nm
Ion sourceGallium liquid metal
Resolution (FIB) @ 30 kV< 4 nm
Resolution (EDX)< 30 nm

Specimen Stages

Flipstage 3 with in situ STEM 3 detector
5 axis all piezo motorised
100 mm XY motion
Quick Loader

EDX System

TEAM software for measurement and analyses
“Octane Super” Detector
Active Area: 60mm²

MultiChem Gas Delivery System

Pt, C, W for deposition
TEOS for insulator deposition
H2O etching gas


Everhart Thornley detector (EDT)

Through-the-lens detector (TLD)

In-chamber electron (ICE)

In-column detector (ICD)

STEM detector (BF, DF, HAADF) (STEM 3+)

Mirror detector (MD)

Retractable backscatter detector (CBS)

Charge-coupled detector (CCD)

In-chamber navigation camera (Nav-Cam)

Instrument Officer