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NanoFab Tool: FEI Helios NanoLab 660 Dual Beam Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) 2


The FEI Helios 660 dual-beam microscope combines a monochromated field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) with an advanced focused ion beam (FIB) column for fast, precise nanomachining and nanoscale structural characterization. Enhanced capabilities include simultaneous chemical characterization using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy and material crystallographic characterization using electron backscatter diffraction. The tool supports a variety of substrates ranging from 150 mm diameter wafers down to small pieces.


  • FE-SEM
    • Resolution: sub-nanometer from 1 kV to 30 kV.
    • High resolution triple in-lens electron detectors with Through Lens (TLD, secondary and backscatter mode), In Column (ICD, low-loss backscatter), and Mirror (MD, no-loss backscatter) detectors.
    • Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) detector with bright-field (BF), dark-field (DF), and high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) segments.
    • Electron beam deceleration for 50 V effective landing voltage.
    • 5-axis stage with 150 mm X-Y range and full rotation.
    • Integrated plasma cleaner to minimize contamination.
  • FIB (Gallium ion source)
    • Resolution: 2.5 nm at 30 kV.
    • High current for fast milling of large areas.
    • High efficiency secondary ion detector.
    • Electron flood gun for ion charge compensation.
    • Integrated beam current measurement to allow faster ion beam calibrations while samples are already in the chamber.
    • Real time monitoring of milling and deposition processes.
    • End point monitoring for cross sectioning and circuit editing applications.
    • Oxford/Omniprobe 300 manipulator for removing transmission electron microscopy (TEM) samples.
  • Enhanced capabilities for simultaneous chemical characterization using energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy on an Oxford Instruments X-Max 80 mm2 SDD-EDS detector and material crystallographic characterization using electron backscatter diffraction on an Oxford Instruments NordlysMax2 EBSD detector.
  • Gas injection system chemistries
    • Platinum deposition.
    • Carbon deposition.
    • Insulator deposition using tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS).
    • Selective carbon etch.
    • Insulator enhanced etching using xenon difluoride (XeF2).
  • Software packages
    • Auto TEM – Automated TEM sample preparation before liftout.
    • NanoBuilder – Advanced computer aided design (CAD) based patterning using GDSII files.
    • Auto Slice and View – Automated sequential milling and image capturing generates datasets for 3D reconstruction.
    • EBS3 – captures EBSD data during sequential milling.
    • Aztec – User-friendly EDS/EBSD data collection and analysis software.
    • Avizo Fire – 3D reconstruction software with additional tools for materials science applications.

Usage Information

Supported Sample Sizes

  • Maximum wafer diameter: 150 mm (6 in).
  • Holders for 100 mm, 125 mm, and 150 mm diameter wafers.
  • Small pieces supported: Yes.

Typical Applications

  • Nanometer scale patterning.
  • 3D tomography.
  • Materials characterization.
  • Prototyping of nanoscale devices.
  • In situ electrical measurements.
  • Preparation of TEM lamellae.
  • Sample preparation for atom probe tomography.
  • Failure analysis.
  • Circuit editing.
  • Analysis and mapping of material and chemical sample composition.
  • Mapping of crystal orientation.
  • Phase identification.
  • Collection of grain boundary and localized strain data.
Created May 19, 2014, Updated November 21, 2019