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Scanning Auger Microscope - Focused Ion Beam

Our Scanning Auger System (VG microlab 310F) feature high spatial and spectral resolution, due to it's field emission electron source and its hemispherical electron analyzer with retarding lens. the lateral resolution determined by the focus of the electron column is 10...20 nm, while the depth resolution of 0,5...2 nm is determined by the inelastic mean free path of the signal electrons. The energy resolution is better than 1 eV. Primary energies of 50 eV to 25 keV can be used. The system is equipped with a sputter ion gun (EX 05, Ar ions of 0,5 to 5 keV) for depth profiling, a heating stage to 600 °C, a fracture stage and a focussed ion beam column. A very similar new model is called Microlab 350
The instrument is generally used for elemental analysis of various objects on the micro and nano scale. It can detect all elements with the exception of hydrogen and helium down to concentrations of 1 atomic percent. All electrically conductive samples and many insulators can be analyzed with lateral resolutions down to 50 or 100 nm. Achieving the top resolution requires well prepared conductive samples.
Besides general analytic applications, the instrument is used for electron transport studies, e.g. to derive information used for SESSA
The ion gun is used to clean surfaces and to record depth profiles ranging from a few to several 100 nm. Larger depths can be analyzed using either the FIB-column (to 10 μm) or special preparation techniques.

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The focussed ion beam column (FIB) permits micro-machining of samples in situ. This can be used for a variety of purposes, e.g. the analyses of thick layers in the micrometer range or of 3-dimensional micro- and nano-structures.
The fracture stage exposes internal surfaces of samples under high vacuum. A typical application is the detection of impurities in grain boundaries.
The heating stage is used to observe the effect of heating of samples up to 600 °C on-line.
Sample requirements: Sample sizes can range from below 1 mm up to 38 mm diameter and 8 mm thickness. Up to a size of 10 mm by 10 mm and a thickness of 3 mm every spot of the sample surface is accessible. For the fracture stage elongated samples up to 30 mm length and 5 mm diameter are used. Consult us for smaller samples for the fracture stage and for samples for the heating stage. We are able to perform a variety of preparation tasks. Important: Samples must have a very low vapor pressure and must not decompose under intense electron irradiation (Contact us when in doubt).

Please direct inquiries for analytical work to Herbert Störi or Christian Tomastik.