Dual Beam FIB-SEM: Sample Prepping and Imaging

Transmission electron microscopy (including aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are valuable techniques when analyzing a material’s morphology and chemistry or performing product failure analysis, but how are the samples prepared for these detailed imaging techniques?

The dual beam focused ion beam (FIB)-SEM is a powerful tool whose primary use is preparing samples for further detailed analysis. It can also be used to image the sample directly.

What is Dual Beam?

While a single beam tool only has one ion beam, the dual beam FIB-SEM integrates a focused ion beam with a scanning electron microscope. 


The focused ion beam is used to finely cut, modify and/or image a sample surface, and the scanning electron microscope is used to collect high-resolution and high-depth-of-field images of the sample surface or FIB cross-section. By combining these techniques, the Dual Beam allows for sample prepping and imaging to happen simultaneously.

Dual beam

Advantages of Dual Beam FIB

As a sample preparation tool, the Dual Beam FIB-SEM has revolutionized sample preparation for SEM and TEM samples by making more precise cross sections, expanded the use of FIB by allowing for simultaneous preparation, imaging, and elemental analysis, and has allowed for more accurate cross sectioning for previously hard-to-section materials and products.
Dual Beam FIB can essentially be used for any type of materials analysis, including but not limited to semiconductors, batteries, medical devices, aerospace, and more.

EAG Laboratories has over 40 years of experience and our industry experts have the capability to assist with your analytical needs.

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