Helios 5 Laser PFIB System

The Helios 5 Laser PFIB System from Thermo Fisher Scientific integrates the class-leading monochromated Elstar Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) Column using a plasma focused ion beam (PFIB) and a femtosecond laser.

This produces a high-resolution imaging and analysis tool with an on-site ablation ability, providing unmatched material removal rates for quick millimeter-scale characterization at nanometer resolution.

Statistically Relevant Subsurface and 3D Characterization

The femtosecond laser is capable of cutting different materials at rates that are several orders of magnitude quicker than a standard gallium FIB; users can create a large (hundreds of micrometers) cross-section within 5 minutes.

Thanks to its different removal mechanism (ablation versus the ion sputtering of FIB), the laser can easily process tough materials, like non-conductive or ion-beam sensitive samples.

High-Quality Large Volume Analysis

Thanks to the very short duration of the femtosecond laser pulses, virtually no artifacts, such as melting, microcracking, heat impact or those typical of conventional mechanical polishing, are introduced. In the majority of cases, the laser-milled surfaces are sufficiently clean for direct SEM imaging and even for surface-sensitive methods like electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) mapping.

The instrument has been developed based on the proven Helios 5 PFIB platform and includes a range of advanced technologies to offer high-performance, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM), atom probe tomography (APT) sample preparation and very high-resolution SEM imaging with accurate materials contrast.

Key Features

Fast Material Removal

The system has millimeter-scale cross-sections performing 15,000 times faster material removal than traditional gallium-focused ion beams.

Statistically Relevant Subsurface and 3D Data Analysis

The instrument can obtain data for much larger volumes in a shorter period.

Accurate and Repeatable Cut Placement

The system holds the same coincident point for all three beams (SEM/PFIB/laser), facilitating precise and repeatable cut placement and 3D characterization.

Fast Characterization of Deep Subsurface Features

The instrument can extract subsurface TEM lamella or chunks for 3D analysis.

High Throughput Processing of Challenging Materials

The instrument comes with ion-beam-sensitive or non-conductive samples.

Fast and Easy Characterization of Air-Sensitive Samples

The system avoids the need to transfer samples between different instruments for imaging and cross-sectioning.

Shares All Capabilities of the Helios 5 PFIB Platform

The system is capable of performing high-quality gallium-free TEM and APT sample preparation and high-resolution imaging.


Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific – Electron Microscopy Solutions

Femtosecond-laser specifications
Laser integration
  • Fully integrated in the chamber with the same coincident point for all 3 beams (SEM/PFIB/laser), enabling accurate and repeatable cut placement and 3D characterization.
Laser Output
First Harmonic
  • Wavelength
  • Pulse duration
  • 1030 nm (IR)
  • <280 fs
Second Harmonic
  • Wavelength
  • Pulse duration
  • 515 nm (green)
  • <300 fs
Coincident point
  • Working distance= 4 mm (Same as SEM/FIB)
Objective lens
  • Variable (motorized)
  • Horizontal/vertical
Repetition rate
  • 1 kHz – 1 MHz
Position accuracy
  • <250 nm
Protective shutter
  • Automated SEM/PFIB protective shutter
  • Laser control software
  • Laser 3D serial sectioning workflow
  • Laser 3D serial sectioning workflow with EBSD
  • Laser scripting with optional Thermo Scientific AutoScript 4 Software
  • Interlocked laser enclosure (Class 1 laser safety)


Other Equipment by this Supplier

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.