Advanced Microscopy Laboratory aprg

The Advanced Microscopy Laboratory (AML) contains a selection of Scanning and Tunneling Electron Microscopes for imaging and lithography.


Zeiss Orion Plus - Helium Ion Microscope

One of the world's first installations of this exciting new technology. The Crann He-Ion microscope affords the highest resolution surface imaging of bulk materials from a scanning microscope [0.4 nm], and is well suited to imaging challenging sample sets such as polymer based systems and biological specimens.

This is the only such tool installed in Ireland, and one of a handful in Europe. The HIM has a wide field of view, enhanced depth of focus, and excellent surface sensitivity.

  • Highly surface sensitive imaging to a resolution of below 0.4nm
  • Elemental analysis using backscattered ion spectroscopy
  • He-beam lithography


FEI Titan - Transmission Electron Microscope

This is the highest resolution imaging TEM in Ireland, capable of sub-angstrom imaging. FIB and manual sample preparation methods exist in-house. Features include:

  • Selected area electron diffraction (SAED)
  • Accelerating voltages of 80-300kV
  • Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) option
  • A Gatan Tridiem Energy Filtering (EFTEM) system for Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS)
  • An Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) elemental analysis system
  • Plasmon based imaging
  • Alignments at 80 kV suited for the study of carbon based materials


Zeiss Auriga - Focused Ion Beam (FIB) with Cobra Ion Column

This is the highest resolution FIB patterning system in Ireland, and has both field emission electron and Ga+ ion columns. The system is fundamentally designed for nanofabrication via controlled localized ion milling or ion assisted deposition, which can be simultaneously monitored with the SEM column. It is commonly used for preparation of lamellae for TEM analysis. Its features include:

  • Ion imaging resolution of 2.4 nm
  • Electron imaging resolution 1 nm
  • Sample preparation for TEM lamella
  • Sequential cross sectioning for three dimensional image construction
  • A reactive gas injection system for reactive ion etching and Pt/SiO2/W deposition
  • Nano-manipulators dedicated to electrical measurements and TEM sample preparation

FEI Strata 235 - Focused Ion Beam (FIB)

Another FIB system commonly used for lamella preparation, Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) analysis, and beam-assisted deposition. Features include:

  • Electron/Ion beam lithography, (Raith Elphy Quantum)
  • Transmission Electron Microscope sample preparation
  • Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) elemental analysis system (Silicon Drift Detector)
  • Nano-manipulators for in-situ TEM sample preparation
  • Gas injection systems which allows reactive ion etching or the deposition of metals such as platinum
  • A charge neutralization capability, during ion exposure, to reduce sample drift


Zeiss Ultra Plus - Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

A high resolution (<1nm) Field Emission SEM with a Gemini® column is installed for imaging, and analytics. This is one of the highest resolution imaging electron microscopes available on the market, and features STEM capability and a number of specialized detectors with sophisticated contrast and detection mechanisms. Features include:

  • Imaging resolution of 1 nm
  • Scanning TEM imaging [STEM] to a resolution of 0.8 nm
  • Accelerating voltages between 100V and 30kV
  • Charge neutralization system suitable for imaging non-coated insulating materials
  • EDX elemental analysis, imaging and mapping (Oxford Instruments INCA system)
  • Extensive electron detection system including:
    • Energy Selected Backscattered detector
    • Angular selected backscatter detector (for atomic number or Bragg scattering contrast)
  • Secondary Electron detector

Zeiss SUPRA 40 - Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

This high resolution field emission SEM is installed primarily for high resolution electron beam lithography and imaging. The Supra's GEMINI® FESEM column affords superb resolution down to 0.1kV. The tool is specially housed within a specially designed, isolated, clean environment, and boasts custom designed proximity to fume hood, wet bench and spinners for resist based lithography. Other features include:

  • Raith Elphy Quantum software and beam control system for electron beam lithography
  • Four micromanipulators with a low current measurement system for high precision electrical measurements

Zeiss EVO 50 - Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Another SEM with EBL capabilities, this microscope is also ideally suited to biological imaging, as it has a variable pressure "wet SEM" capability, and a cold stage (-20°C).

  • Raith Elphy Quantum software and beam control system for electron beam lithography
  • High repeatability stage with large stage movements

For more information on these and more devices, see the AML page on the CRANN website