Nova 600 NanoLab: SEM, Ga-FIB, GIS & Omniprobe

From the KNI Lab at Caltech
Revision as of 21:15, 27 May 2019 by Matthew (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Nova 600
YVO-Nanobeam-Resonator Jake-Rochman.jpg
Instrument Type Microscopy
Techniques SEM, Ga-FIB, Omniprobe,
Immersion Lens Imaging,
GIS, Cross-sectioning,
TEM Lamella Sample Prep
Staff Manager Matthew S. Hunt, PhD
Staff Email
Staff Phone 626-395-5994
Reserve time on LabRunr
Request training by email
Lab Location B233B Steele
Lab Phone 626-395-1534
Manufacturer FEI (now Thermo Fisher)
Model Nova 600 NanoLab


The Nova 600 is a "dual-beam" system that combines a field emission gun (FEG) scanning electron microscope (SEM) with a gallium focused ion beam (Ga-FIB). It can be used to capture high-quality images (clearly resolving sub-10 nm features) and perform site-specific etching and material deposition (creating sub-20 nm features). It is also equipped with an Omniprobe nanomanipulator, which can be used to lift out lamella samples that are prepared for use in a transmission electron microscope (TEM). See a full list of training and educational resources for this instrument below.

SEM Applications
  • Ultra-High-Resolution Imaging (Immersion Mode aka UHR Mode)
  • High-Resolution Imaging (Field-Free Mode aka Normal Mode)
  • Secondary Electron (SE) imaging with an Everhart-Thornley Detector (ETD) & Through-the-Lens Detector (TLD)
  • Backscattered Electron (BSE) imaging with a TLD
  • Platinum deposition via Gas Injection System (GIS)
  • Automated imaging with RunScript program & AutoScript language
Ga-FIB Applications
  • Directly etch patterns into material
  • Cutting & Imaging Cross-Sections
  • TEM Lamella Sample Preparation using an Omniprobe for Liftout
  • Platinum & SiOx deposition via GIS
  • Enhanced etch with XeF2 via GIS
  • Automated patterning with RunScript program & AutoScript language


SOPs & Troubleshooting
Video Tutorials
Graphical Handouts
Manufacturer Manuals
Simulation Software
Calibrate Measurements with NIST Standard
  • The KNI has a NIST-traceable standard against which SEM and Ga-FIB measurements can be compared. See Slides 54-55 of the SEM Presentation for details. Ask staff for help finding and using the standard in the lab.
Sample Preparation
  • Use the Carbon Evaporator to make non-conductive samples conductive by applying 2-10 nm of evaporated carbon.
  • Use the O2/Ar Plasma Cleaner to remove hydrocarbons from the sample surface to avoid creating dark contamination spots on your features while imaging them.
Order Your Own Stubs
  • Stubs used for mounting specimens are considered a personal, consumable item in the KNI. There are some old stubs at each SEM/FIB, yet you should buy your own so that you can keep them clean and available to you. There are many stub geometries and configurations, some of which will be right for you to purchase and keep with your other cleanroom items.


Manufacturer Specifications
SEM Specifications
  • Minimum Feature Size Resolved in Immersion Mode: ~5 nm
  • Voltage Range: 0.2 to 30.0 kV
  • Current Range: ~10 pA to 20 nA
  • Apertures: 10 μm, 15 μm, 20 μm, 30 μm
  • Eucentric Height: ~5.15 mm working distance (WD)
  • Stage Range: ±80 mm X & Y travel, 12 mm Z travel, -12 to 58° tilt, 360° rotation
  • ETD Grid Bias Range: -150 to 300 V
  • TLD Bias Range: -100 to 150 V
  • Ultimate Vacuum: 5e-7 mbar
Ga-FIB Specifications
  • Minumum Probe Size Achieved: ~7 nm
  • Minimum Feature Size Etched: ~25 nm
  • Minimum Feature Size Resolved by Imaging: ~10 nm
  • Voltage Range: 5 to 30 kV
  • Current Range: 1 pA to 20 nA
  • Eucentric Height: ~5.15 mm working distance (WD)
  • Stage Tilt to be perpendicular to Ga-FIB: 52°
  • ETD Grid Bias Range: -150 to 300 V
  • TLD Bias Range: -100 to 150 V