Virginia Tech® home

Helios FIB


The ThermoScientific Helios 5 UC is a dual-beam workstation that combines a high-resolution scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a focused ion beam (FIB). It is used to dissect or deposit material at a micro- to nano-meter scale. The instrument is capable of nanoscale tomography, and it has a manipulator for precisely probing, straining, picking up, and placing nanometer-sized objects cut from or deposited on larger samples. It is equipped with an integrated Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) and Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD) package for gathering simultaneous chemical, spatial orientation, and strain state information. When this package is coordinated with material removal via the ion beam, it is possible to create 3-dimensional reconstructions of the internal structures of objects a few nanometers in size.

Contact: Jarret Wright (
Location: ICTAS CRC room 1003

The NCFL’s Helios 5 UC is equipped with:

  • Coincident focal point for simultaneous FIB patterning and SEM imaging
  • Elstar extreme high-resolution field emission electron beam imaging from a few millimeters down to 0.6nm resolution
  • Tomahawk HT ion beam imaging/fabrication resolution down to 2.5nm
  • Both beams operate with accelerating voltages of 500V to 30kV
  • Imaging detectors: in-lens, in-column, high-performance in-chamber electron and ion, Everhart-Thornley, retractable low-voltage solid-state backscatter
  • “SmartSCAN” image processor with up to 256-frame average or integration and resolution up to 6144x4096 pixels
  • Automated SEM and FIB deposition with multi-nozzle gas injection system (initially equipped with tungsten and carbon)
  • Automated FIB milling with “Slice and View” for 3D reconstruction, “Auto-TEM” sample preparation kit, and selective carbon milling
  • Fabrication with basic patterns, arrays, and certain image files in BMP or steam format
  • EDAX integrated EDS and EBSD (Octane8 Elite X-ray microanalysis system and Velocity camera for EBSD) with 3D OIM automated data acquisition and batch processing software
  • Integrated plasma cleaner
  • 52-pin electrical feedthrough for custom experiments

Detailed Specifications

Sample Image

sample fib1
sample fib2
sample fib3
sample fib4
sample fib5
sample fib6