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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Acquisition of a Scanning Electron Microscope/Focused Ion Beam Instrument with 3D “Slice and View” Capability

Focused ion beam (FIB) instruments have become the go-to method for creating nanoscale shape in materials, including preparing samples for transmission electron microscopy and atom probe tomography. FIB employs an ion beam to shape and slice samples to precise sizes that enable examination of important and elusive microstructural features. The Materials Science Center (MSC) is home to the only FIB available in Wisconsin. But that instrument is heavily oversubscribed, drawing users for nearly 5,000 hours a year. The full schedule limits the time available to research programs and allows for little opportunity to train students and other new users.

This project outfits the MSC with a new scanning electron microscope/focused ion beam instrument (SEM/FIB), expanding availability of this important tool and adding the ability to perform three-dimensional chemical and structural analysis of samples. The new SEM/FIB will be the only instrument of its kind in the state.

This project will make UW–Madison researchers more competitive in proposing new lines of research. Labs at work studying nano-manufacturing, development of catalysts for chemical production, corrosion in extreme environments, new semiconductors, nuclear reactor design and more are ready to make use of the new instrument to augment research underway.

Principal Investigator

  • Paul Voyles
    Materials Science and Engineering

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Jerry Hunter
    College of Engineering Core Facilities