Zeiss Orion Plus Helium Ion Microscope

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Microscopy Facility houses a Zeiss Orion Helium Ion Microscope (HIM), one of only twenty dedicated HIM microscope facilities in the world, and the only HIM facility in the southeastern USA.  HIM is a relatively new scanning particle beam microscopy technique that offers several advantages over standard scanning particle beam imaging techniques:

  • Increased absolute resolution (~0.3nm resolution)
  • Extremely high depth of field
  • Enhanced imaging of uncoated soft materials such as polymers and biological materials.

HIM data collection and imaging formation is performed through two separate detectors, a secondary electron detector that is similar to standard Scanning Electron Microscopy, and a Helium ion backscatter detector, which provides semi-qualitative elemental analysis of a sample.  In addition to imaging, the HIM is also capable of nanoscale Helium ion beam milling, used in our facility to generate nanopores and other nanoscale features < 5nm.