FE-SEM For Highest Demands in Sub-nanometer Imaging, Analytics and Sample Flexibility
ZEISS GeminiSEM stands for effortless imaging with sub-nanometer resolution. These FE-SEMs (field emission scanning electron microscope) combine excellence in imaging and analytics. Innovations in electron optics and a new chamber design let you benefit from better image quality, usability and flexibility. Take sub-nanometer images below 1 kV without an immersion lens. Discover three unique designs of the ZEISS Gemini electron optics.
GeminiSEM 360 is the ideal instrument for your core facility, delivering maximum versatility for materials & life science, and industry. With its Gemini 1 electron optical column it delivers high resolution imaging and analytics over the widest range of applications and sample types.
GeminiSEM 460 is made for your most exacting analytical tasks and enables efficient analysis and unattended workflows. Its Gemini 2 column serves the most challenging tasks in analytical microscopy. Switch seamlessly between imaging and analytical conditions.
GeminiSEM 560 raises the bar for surface-sensitive, distortion-free, high resolution imaging and lets you image below 1 kV easily. Introducing Gemini 3, and its new electron optical engine Smart Autopilot it delivers the highest resolution in the family at all working conditions.
Benefit from surface sensitive imaging and gather information at low voltage or at high probe current. Discover the advantages of Inlens detection, NanoVP, contextual image viewing or AI-powered segmentation.
Caption: Ferrocerium particle, Inlens EsB image.
Switch seamlessly from low current-low kV work to high current-high kV work. Extend your possibilities with an in situ heating and tensile lab. Take advantage of a coplanar EDS/EBSD configuration, shadow-free mappings of EDS data and rapidly collecting EBSD maps with 4000 patterns/s.
Caption: Steel, EBSD map
Explore the new standard for surface imaging: magnetic field-free imaging with sub 1 nm resolution below 1kV without sample biasing or monochromation, Gemini 3 with its new electron optical engine Smart Autopilot, finding the sweet spot in your working conditions – and much more.
Caption: Magnetic FeMn nanoparticles, edge length of a cube ca. 25 nm. GeminiSEM 560, 1 kV, Inlens SE, field of view 565 nm.
Interview with Dr. Mario Hentschel
Dr. Mario Hentschel
Optical Sensors Research at the University Stuttgart, 4th Physics Institute and Center for Applied Quantum Technology, Germany.
Dr. Mario Hentschel
Head of Cleanroom and Nanostructuring Facilities, first user of GeminiSEM 560.
"We are dealing with micro- and nanostructures for optical sensing. Consequently, it is important to characterize devices on a nanometer scale. These applications require a large flexibility of the electron microscope. ZEISS GeminiSEM 560 is offering us an astonishing degree of freedom and flexibility. We obtain highest quality images even from very challenging samples, such as highly insulating polymers, showing minimal effects due to charging. The GeminiSEM 560 will thus definitely be an enabling technology for our research which we feel that this instrument can provide it in a very flexible way."
The Technology Behind Gemini Electron Optics
What You Always Wanted to Know About the Fundamentals
Field emission SEMs are designed for high resolution imaging. Key to the performance of a field emission SEM is its electron optical column. Gemini is tailored for excellent resolution on any sample, especially at low accelerating voltages, for complete and efficient detection, and ease-of-use.
Gemini optics are characterized by three main components:
- ● The Gemini objective lens design combines electrostatic and magnetic fields to maximize optical performance while reducing field influences at the sample to a minimum. This enables excellent imaging, even on challenging samples such as magnetic materials.
- ● Gemini beam booster technology, an integrated beam deceleration, guarantees small probe sizes and high signal-to-noise ratios.
- ● The Gemini Inlens detection concept ensures efficient signal detection by detecting secondary (SE) and backscattered (BSE) electrons in parallel minimizing time-to-image.
For your applications benefit from:
- ✔ Long-term stability of the SEM alignment and the effortless way it adjusts all system parameters such as probe current and acceleration voltage.
- ✔ Achieve distortion-free, high resolution imaging with the help of the near magnetic-field free optics.
- ✔ Get information solely from the top-most layer of your samples with the Inlens SE detector that produces images out of the truly surface sensitive SE 1 electrons.
- ✔ Obtain true material contrast at very low voltages with the detection concept of the Inlens EsB detector.
Capitalize on Fast Analytics
A comprehensive characterization of any sample calls for performance in imaging and in analytics. Plus, today’s users expect the set up and handling of the instrument to be easy. The Gemini 2 optics answers these demands.
Switch seamlessly between high resolution imaging and analytics
- ● GeminiSEM 460 comes with Gemini 2 optics featuring a double condenser.
- ● Adjust the beam current continuously while the spot size stays optimized simultaneously.
- ● Switch seamlessly between high resolution imaging – at low beam currents – and analytical modes – at high beam currents.
- ● You save time and effort because there’s no need to realign the beam after changing imaging parameters.
Stay flexible and work efficiently
- ✔ Stay flexible: use the highest beam current density for high resolution imaging and analysis at both low and high beam current, independently of which beam energy you select.
- ✔ Your specimen won’t be exposed to a magnetic field: achieve distortion-free EBSD patterns and high resolution imaging over a large field of view.
- ✔ Tilt the specimen without influencing the electron optical performance. Image even magnetic samples easily.
- ✔ Choose a charge reduction mode that suits your sample best: local charge compensation, variable pressure in the chamber or NanoVP.
Imaging below 1 kV - Expert Knowledge Integrated
The Gemini 3 optics are optimized for resolutions at low and very low voltages, and for contrast enhancement. They ensure maximum resolution at all working conditions from 1 kV to 30 kV and consists of two components which work synergistically: the Nano-twin lens and Smart Autopilot, a new electron optical engine. Additional technological characteristics are the high gun resolution mode and the optional Tandem decel.
Resolution Modes – Enabling You to See More Details
More details and more detection signal for your SEM images, enabled by two modes. In high resolution gun mode, the reduced energy spread of the primary beam minimizes the effect of chromatic aberration to allow even smaller probe sizes. In Tandem decel mode, a deceleration voltage is applied to the sample. Use this to further improve resolution below 1 kV and boost the detection efficiency of backscattered diode detectors.
The Nano-twin lens delivers:
- ● Sub-nanometer resolution at low and ultra-low voltages with excellent signal detection efficiency.
- ● Three times lower lens aberrations at low kV compared to the standard Gemini objective lens - resulting in a three times lower magnetic field on the sample, of the order of 1 mT.
- ● Optimized geometry and the electrostatic and magnetic field distributions.
- ● An enhanced Inlens detector signal under low voltage imaging conditions.
- ● These characteristics provide the ability for sub-nanometer imaging below 1 kV without immersing the sample in an electro-magnetic field.
How it works:
- ● Smart Autopilot optimizes electron trajectories through the column thus ensuring the highest possible resolution at each acceleration voltage.
- ● The autofunctions enable a seamless alignment free transition across the entire magnification range from 1× to 2,000,000× and a 10× increase in the field of view allowing a 13 cm object to be imaged in a single frame.
- ● The image framestore of 32k × 24k in combination with the new overview mode ensure a stitching free pixel density over an unparalleled field of view
How-to Videos on Gemini Technology
Applications in Materials Science
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Image and analyze any real-world sample effortlessly, over large areas or at sub-nanometer resolution.
- Explore examples from nanoscience, engineering and energy materials, or bio-inspired materials, polymers & catalysts.
- See how GeminiSEM helps you to characterize your specimen comprehensively.
Caption: Structured gold platelets, research on plasmonic effects, GeminiSEM 560, BSD. Image: courtesy of University Stuttgart, Germany.
Microscopy Solutions for Industry
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Failure analysis on mechanical, optical or electronic components
- Fracture analysis and metallography
- Surface, microstructure and device characterization
- Compositional and phase distribution
- Impurity and inclusion determination
Caption: Cross-section of lithium ion battery.
Applications in Electronics & Semiconductor
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Construction analysis and benchmarking
- Passive voltage contrast
- Subsurface analysis
- Electronic property measurement with probing
- TEM site selection
Caption: The aBSD detector at high EHT (here at 30 kV ) shows deeply-buried structures such as FinFET gates, tungsten plugs, and tin liner (inset) with exceptional resolution and contrast.
Applications in Life Sciences
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Characterization of topology
- Imaging sensitive, non-conductive, outgassing, or low contrast samples
- Visualizing the ultrastructure of cells, tissues etc. at high resolutions
- Imaging very large areas such as serial sections or block faces
Caption: SARS-CoV-2 virus, culture, inactivated, negatively stained, GeminiSEM 560, aSTEM, HAADF/BF. Sample: courtesy of M. Hannah, Public Health England, UK.
3D STEM Tomography
Automated STEM tomography on an FE-SEM is now put at your disposal. A script for automated acquisition of a STEM tilt series uses the API and performs compucentric, rotation and tilt stage movements as well as autofocus and image acquisition. Feature tracking compensates for shifts throughout the entire tilt series and keeps the drift between two images to a minimum of around 50 nm. The STEM sample holder allows to tilt the stage to 60° and to perform a 180° rotation, and the aSTEM detector covers all requirements. From the advanced reconstruction toolkit (ART) development team, 3D reconstruction software then takes this output and renders a 3D model of your sample.
In-Chamber Ultramicrotome for Serial Block-Face SEM
Image the ultrastructure of biological, resin-embedded samples in 3D over large areas. ZEISS Volutome is an end-to-end solution from hardware to software including image processing, segmentation, and visualization.
Link Materials Performance to Microstructure with the In Situ Lab for ZEISS FE-SEMs
Benefit from an Integrated Solution
Extend your ZEISS FE-SEM with an in situ solution for heating and tensile experiments. Investigate materials like metals, alloys, polymers, plastics, composites, and ceramics. Combine a mechanical tensile or compression stage, a heating unit and dedicated high-temperature detectors with analytics. Control all system components from a single PC with a unified software environment that enables unattended automated materials testing.
Visualization and Analysis Software
ZEISS Recommends Dragonfly Pro
An advanced analysis and visualization software solution for your 3D data acquired by a variety of technologies including X-ray, FIB-SEM, SEM and helium ion microscopy. Available exclusively through ZEISS, ORS Dragonfly Pro offers an intuitive, complete, and customizable toolkit for visualization and analysis of large 3D grayscale data. Dragonfly Pro allows for navigation, annotation, creation of media files, including video production, of your 3D data. Perform image processing, segmentation, and object analysis to quantify your results.