Focused Ion Beam (FIB)

The Focused Ion Beam (FIB) technique is analogous to Scanning Electron Microscopy(SEM) in that it scans a focused probe beam, in this case ions rather than electrons,across the surface of interest. This beam can be used to generate high-resolution images of the sample or to mill into the sample to expose the internal structure. This combination of high-resolution imaging to locate features of interest followed by precise site-specific milling provides an invaluable tool for sample preparation and analysis, providing rapid cross-sectional analysis of features that would be difficult or impossible to otherwise prepare. Because of this, the FIB instrument is often used as a sample preparation tool for more complete characterization using Electron Microscopy.