The Crossbeam 550, which Zeiss launched in spring this year, is one of a new generation of focused ion beam scanning electron microscopes (FIB-SEM) that features a significantly higher resolution for imaging and material characterization and speeds up sample processing. The Crossbeam 550 is designed for investigating nanostructures - e.g. in composite materials, metals, biomaterials and semiconductors - using analytical and imaging methods in parallel. The device allows users to simultaneously modify and monitor samples, with the aim of speeding up sample preparation and delivering a high throughput, e.g. for cross-sectioning, preparing TEM lamellae or nano-patterning.

The Crossbeam 550 aims to supply the best image quality in 2D and 3D. The new Tandem decel mode has been developed to enhance resolution and maximize image contrast at low landing energies. According to Zeiss, the pioneering Gemini II electron optics can help achieve optimum resolution at low voltage with a high probe current. The FIB column combines the highest available FIB current of 100 nA with the new FastMill mode. This is designed to enable high-precision and even more efficient material processing during concurrent imaging. The new process for automated emission recovery makes the system even more user-friendly and also optimizes the FIB column for reproducible results during extended experiments. The Crossbeam 550 aims to make a big impression in life sciences applications through its enhanced resolution at low acceleration voltages and outstanding long-term stability for 3D tomography. What’s more, users should be able to integrate the new workstation easily into correlative workflows and combine it with light, X-ray or ion beam microscopy.