Thermo Fisher Scientific/FEI Dual Beam Focused Ion Beam/Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope

The FIB microscope will allow materials science researchers to slice through minuscule material samples and collect images of their structures. The FIB microscope will allow materials science researchers to slice through minuscule material samples and collect images of their structures. Stephen Bilenky

The FEI Helios G4 UC is a multi-technique dual beam (electron and Ga ion) Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) with a spatial resolution for imaging of 0.7 nanometer.

The FEI Helios G4 UC is a dual field emission electron and Ga ion beam Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with a spatial resolution for imaging of 0.7 nanometer. This interdisciplinary tool has many additional capabilities:

  • FIB: The low-energy capable Focused Ion Beam (FIB) column, allows for live-imaging of samples at high magnification (both microscopes have 1 nm resolution) while simultaneously machining or deposition with critical dimensions of less than 10nm using a stream of Ga ions. AutoSlice software allows for highest quality, fully automated acquisition of multimodal 3D datasets.
  • GIS: The gas injection system (GIS) makes it possible to deposit material for protective coatings and contacts as well as to modify etch rates and is an essential tool for the automated preparation of transmission electron microscope specimens.
  • EBSD: High resolution crystallographic orientation imaging by electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD).
  • EDS: Fast chemical identification and mapping by Energy Dispresive Spectroscopy (EDS).
  • NPGS: Electron lithography (Nabity Nanopattern Generating System) and FIB patterning.
  • Nanoprobe: Easylift FEI nanomanipulator provides precise sample extraction and manipulation.
  • STEM: Two-segment solid-state scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) detector for high-resolution bright and dark field imaging of FIB-prepared cross sections and critical dimension measurements. The STEM detector is designed to hold up to eight FIB-prepared grids placed on copper-grid supported carbon film. It can act as a pre-TEM tool to eliminate the unnecessary bulk of samples that can be analyzed for micro or nano defects, allowing the nano and atomic levels of observation in the TEM to be more efficiently spent.

This system is ideally suited to providing electron-transparent sample for imaging in the MagLab’s spherical aberration probe corrected JEM-ARM200cF sub-Å resolution scanning transmission analytical electron microscope.

Scanning Electron Microscopes


Scheduling is permitted up to a month in advance. Cancellations or changes are allowed up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled session.

Normal Working Hours (8am to 5pm)

  • Session block duration: no more than 4 hours and no less than one hour.
  • No more than two (2) session blocks within a calendar week.
  • No scheduling more than four (4) session blocks during normal working hours in advance.

Non-Normal Working Hours (After hours and on weekends)

  • Session blocks may be basically unlimited.


Scheduling reserves the microscope and is billable time. If a reserver does not show up within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time, the session may be given to another user. If another user, after a waiting period (30 minutes), takes the remainder of the reserved time, the original scheduler will be billed for time until the other user starts. The user that’s takes over the time, after the wait period, will be billed for usage when they start.

In the event that the entire session is able to be used by another user the time will not be billed to the original scheduler. All such assignment’s of time must be approved by microanalysis manager (contact listed below).

All use will be billed to the next half hour.


Training for basic SEM self-operation will be given as-needed in groups of five at no cost. Please direct requests to the contact below. Prior to training the form Authorization Agreement for Use of Microanalysis Laboratory must be filled out. (The form will be transmitted after request.) The training session will consist of the general operation to include loading of samples, software navigation, obtaining a quality image, and proper condition for leaving the instrument when finished. After training, a two hour billable qualification session will be requested by the user to demonstrate proficiency of operation. Upon successful completion the user will be issued a logon to the SEM software and the SEM scheduling software.

Training for EBSD, EDS, FIB, e-beam lithography, FIB 3-D tomography, TEM sample preparation by FIB, or other special procedures will be scheduled as-needed. This training will be billable time and may require a separate qualification from the general SEM operation and could be demonstrated in the same session as the training according to the instructor.

Information on how this instrument is being used is available on our scheduling page and by contacting Bob Goddard.

Last modified on 29 March 2019