ZEISS GeminiSEM stands for effortless imaging with sub-nanometer resolution. Use it for your most demanding projects in materials and life science. Innovations in electron optics and a new chamber design let you benefit from better image quality, usability and flexibility. Combine excellence in imaging and analytics. Take sub-nanometer images below 1 kV without an immersion lens. Discover three unique designs of the Gemini electron optics. Explore, how the GeminiSEM family answers all your imaging and analytical needs.
- Ideal for core facilities - ZEISS GeminiSEM 360 with its Gemini 1 electron optical column delivers high resolution imaging and analytics over the widest range of applications and sample types.
- Enabling efficient analysis - ZEISS GeminiSEM 460 and its Gemini 2 column serve the most challenging tasks in analytical microscopy. Switch seamlessly between imaging and analytical conditions over a wide range of probe currents.
- The new standard for surface imaging – introducing ZEISS GeminiSEM 560, Gemini 3, and its new electron optical engine Smart Autopilot. It delivers the highest resolution in the family at all working conditions.
Explore all details about the three models and find out which is most suited for your applications.
ZEISS GeminiSEM 360
- GeminiSEM 360 is the ideal instrument for a core facility, delivering maximum versatility for materials & life science, and industry.
- The eponymous electron optical design Gemini 1 design brings you the benefit of surface sensitive, high resolution images providing excellent resolution at low voltage and great speed at high probe current.
- Gather high resolution, surface- and compositional information, even on sensitive samples by using Inlens secondary and backscatter electron imaging simultaneously.
- When aiming to image non-conducting samples under lower vacuum, so-called variable pressure, there is no need to forgo Inlens contrast: NanoVP guarantees maximum versatility enabling Inlens imaging without charging.
- GeminiSEM 360 delivers exceptional user experience: With its wide field of view and new, highly configurable chamber, it’s easy to interrogate even very large samples.
- Enjoy seamless navigation with contextual image viewing and correlative microscopy via ZEISS ZEN Connect.
- Gain clear, crisp images easily by using autofunctions e.g. the patented autofocus and smart detectors.
- Perform both imaging and analytical workflows efficiently with diametrically opposite EDS ports and a coplanar EDS/EBSD geometry.
- Maximize system uptime with ZEISS Predictive Service and benefit from scheduled maintenance to take place when you are ready.
- Upgradability is essential for protecting your investment. That‘s why GeminiSEM 360 is plugged into the software ecosystem of ZEISS ZEN core.
- Draw on ZEN Connect to combine multimodal and multiscale data, ZEN Intellesis for advanced AI- powered segmentation, and ZEN’s analytical modules for reporting and analysis of segmented data. ZEN data storage lets you manage projects centrally by connecting data from different instruments in your lab.
- Access workflows and scripts created by other users who can help you solve challenges by being a member of the APEER community.
- Improve your system as new capabilities are released thanks to a clear upgrade ability path.
ZEISS GeminiSEM 460
- GeminiSEM 460 is made for your most exacting analytical tasks and enables efficient analysis and unattended workflows.
- Perform high-resolution imaging and analytics rapidly: switch seamlessly from low current-low kV work to high current-high kV work, and back again utilizing the Gemini 2 column.
- Characterize any specimen comprehensively by using multiple detectors in parallel.
- For efficient analysis exploit the versatile chamber and choose appropriate analytical detectors.
- Use the new VP mode and turn up the current to obtain EBSD maps with indexing rates of 4000 patterns/s.
- Investigate chemical composition and crystal orientation with two diametrically opposite EDS ports and a coplanar EDS/EBSD configuration. Count on high speed, shadow-free mapping.
- With such powerful analytics at hand workflow automation becomes key. Create and configure automated experiments of your own with the Python scripting API from ZEISS.
- Modify experiments and customize the outcome to your own requirements.
- Make the most of STEM tomography: combine automated tilting and rotation with patented feature tracking. Produce 3D tomograms with nanometer-scale resolution after all aligned images are then sent to a proprietary 3D reconstruction software.
- When you need to test materials to their engineering limits, ZEISS puts an automated in situ heating and tension experimental lab at your disposal: it lets you observe materials under heat and tension automatically while plotting stress-strain curves on the fly.
- Expand your analytical capabilities across materials and life sciences with exceptionally high, tunable current density, even at low kV - based on the Gemini 2 design.
- Take advantage of being able to adapt the system with a wide variety of accessories. The versatile chamber can be configured not only with analytical equipment but also with devices for in situ experiments, cryo-imaging and nanoprobing.
- This lets you benefit from the ability to accommodate many configurations and upgrades at any point during the lifetime of your instrument.
- All GeminiSEMs are plugged into the ZEISS ZEN core ecosystem giving you access to ZEN Connect, ZEN Intellesis and ZEN’s analytical modules providing reporting and GxP workflows.
ZEISS GeminiSEM 560
3D STEM tomography on a CeO2 nanoparticle. GeminiSEM 560, aSTEM, bright field, 30 kV.
- GeminiSEM 560 raises the bar for surface-sensitive, distortion-free, high resolution imaging and lets you image below 1 kV easily.
- Magnetic field-free imaging of samples with sub 1 nm resolution below 1 kV - without the need for sample biasing or monochromation is enabled by Gemini 3 which includes the Nano-twin lens and the new electron optical engine Smart Autopilot.
- Achieve images of non-conducting, vacuum- sensitive material with a new variable pressure mode and detection system: ensure fast results and preserve features by bringing vacuum-sensitive specimens into the chamber through the new Gentle Airlock in VP mode.
- Analyze delicate samples with ease by leveraging the new, large chamber with dual EDS ports. Produce fast, shadow-free mapping ensured by an optimum detector solid angle.
- Imaging of challenging samples is now accelerated by the new electron optical engine Smart Autopilot.
- Perform easy sample navigation by leveraging the greatly increased system’s field of view.
- Smart Autopilot lets you save time while making lengthy alignments obsolete: the engine drives the electron optics to provide magnifications from less than 1× up to 500kx, taking care of alignment, calibration and focus along the way.
- Smart Autopilot includes a new patented parallax autofocus and a new auto-wobble that provide you with clear, crisp images within seconds.
- Python scripting is able to use these features in automated workflows such as 3D STEM tomography.
- Finding the sweet spot in your working conditions means that you’ve selected exactly the right combination of parameters to achieve the perfect image: the trick is finding it.
- Gemini column technology with its magnetic field-free imaging and its new Gemini 3 column enables you to find these sweet spots and discover new information from your sample.
- Magnetic contrast imaging is easy for GeminiSEM 560 with a magnetic field on the sample of less than 2 mT.
- Perform energy spectroscopic imaging with the energy-selective Inlens back-scatter detector while simultaneously incorporating electron angular spectroscopic imaging, with the annular backscatter detector.
- Bring all of your data together with ZEN Connect to segment and report on your findings with ease.
Dr. Mario Hentschel from ZAQuant, the Center for Applied Quantum Technology at the University of Stuttgart, describes the topics and applications the group is working on, the challenges they face in their laboratory, and how they use ZEISS GeminiSEM 560.
“We are dealing with complex micro- and nanostructures for optical sensing and detection applications at the ultimate limit. Consequently, it is important for us to inspect and characterize our devices on a nanometer scale. In-depth knowledge is not only essential for process control and optimization but also in order to unravel the local phenomena involved in our sensing and detection schemes. Apart from mere topographic information, we are also interested in the nanoscale material composition as well as intentional and accidental local impurities.
All these applications require a large flexibility of the electron microscope. ZEISS GeminiSEM 560 is offering us an astonishing degree of freedom and flexibility. The broad choice of detectors allows us to image and highlight topography, material contrast, edges on the surface and all the different features of our samples. We are routinely faced with very different sample geometries, in terms of sample sizes as well as material composition, which puts significant constraints on the microscope. We are able to obtain highest quality images even from very demanding and challenging samples, such as highly insulating polymers and plastics, showing minimal effects due to charging. The system can image at low and very high magnification. In the near future, the GeminiSEM 560 will be housed in the clean room of the newly constructed research building of the Center for Applied Quantum Technology (ZAQuant) here in Stuttgart. The diverse background of the principal investigators joining in ZAQuant, coming from physics, mechanical and electrical engineering, chemistry, and more have highly varying requirements, rendering flexibility a crucial feature while maintaining imaging excellence. The GeminiSEM 560 will thus definitely be an enabling technology for their research which we feel that this instrument can provide it in a very flexible way."
Dr. Mario Hentschel, University Stuttgart, 4th Physics Institute and Center for Applied Quantum Technology, Germany.
Both images: courtesy of 4th Physics Institute and Center for Applied Quantum Technology (ZAQuant), University of Stuttgart, Germany.
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.
- 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: 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
Today’s FE-SEM applications demand high resolution imaging at low landing energy as a standard.
It is essential for:
- Beam sensitive samples
- Non-conductive materials
- Gaining true sample surface information without undesirable background signal from deeper sample layers
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.
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.
In combination with the Nano-twin lens, Smart Autopilot lets you benefit from:
- Best possible resolution at each working energy through condenser optimization of the beam convergence angle for all working conditions
- Seamless transition between sample navigation and high-resolution imaging realized by a new, large field of view overview mode
- Optimum image quality achieved at high speed with a new, patented autofocus
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
High resolution gun mode
- Minimized chromatic aberration thanks to of a reduction of primary energy width by 30%
- Allows even smaller probe sizes
- Tandem decel, a two-step deceleration mode, combines the beam booster technology with a high negative bias voltage that is applied to the sample: the electrons of the primary electron beam are decelerated, thus the landing energy is effectively reduced
- Use this to further improve resolution below 1 kV and boost the detection efficiency of backscattered diode detectors.
- Tandem decel optional sample biasing up to 5 kV further improves the excellent imaging capabilities at low voltages.
Nanoscience & Nanomaterials
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Visualizing structure, integrity and failure in nanoelectronic and photonic devices
- Imaging sensitive specimens such as 2D materials while avoiding major beam damage, charging effects or image distortions
- Studying nanomagnetism and nanomechanics at high resolution, characterizing the material’s surface topography and analyzing its elemental composition
- Creating and evaluating the quality of devices for nanofluidic experiments
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Microstructure and device evaluation
- Defect analysis
- Phase distribution
- Pore and crack quantification
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Versatile materials characterization at sub-nm resolution, with superior contrast and sharpness
- Metallography and fracture analysis
- Characterization of in situ material behavior under varying conditions
- Generation of experimental data for validation and improved fidelity of simulation models.
A stainless-steel sample imaged under in situ tensile load test
Using the AsB detector, images have extremely high contrast and capture the slip bands formation during in situ loading as shown in the images of before (left) and after loading (right).
Cross-sectional image of stainless-steel surface after surface preparation using sand blasting.
The crushed SiO2 shows positive charging on the left image. Contrast visible only at large working distance of 5 mm (left) versus a closer working distance of 1 mm (right).
Cross-section of Al2O3/ZrO2-3mol%Y2O3 nanocomposite powder
Imaged with the BSE detector at 1 kV landing energy with no bias (left) and at 1 kV landing energy with 5 kV bias (right), providing enhanced material contrast and sharpness.
Bio-inspired Materials, Polymers and Catalysts
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Surface characterization and evaluation
- Structural analysis, segmentation and quantification
- Correlative multiscale characterization due to typical hierarchical structure of some bio- materials
- Failure analysis and process control
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
Semiconductor Device Design and Failure Analysis
Typical Tasks and Applications
- Construction analysis and benchmarking
- Passive voltage contrast
- Subsurface analysis
- Electronic property measurement with probing
- TEM site selection
The electronic properties of passive voltage contrast can be compared to subsurface structural information by increasing the beam landing energy, in this case using 1 kV for PVC (left) and 3 kV for the subsurface imaging (right). The superb stability of the Gemini column enables a seamless workflow.
Probing during imaging can give further insight into function. Here, electron beam absorbed current (EBAC) shows the connectivity of a circuit with a probe tip landed at one node (first).
EBAC at increasing tensions (first and second: 2 kV, third: 5 kV, fourth: 8 kV) shows the electronic structure at lower metal layers.
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
Tissue, cells or viruses & STEM imaging: SARS-CoV-2 grown in a tissue culture and inactivated by chemical fixation. The virus was negatively stained.
Imaged with GeminiSEM 560, aSTEM, false colored.
Sample: courtesy of M. Hannah, Public Health England, UK.
Life sciences often deal with low contrast samples and correlative experiments are challenging when essential features lack contrast. With Tandem decel you can introduce an electrical deceleration or bias between the sample and objective lens and achieve a dramatic increase in contrast. Imaged with GeminiSEM 560.
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. 3D reconstruction software then takes this output and renders a 3D model of your sample.
Atlas 5 makes your life easier: create comprehensive multi-scale, multi-modal images with a sample-centric correlative environment. Atlas 5 is the powerful yet intuitive hardware and software package that extends the capacity of your scanning electron microscope.
Capitalize on multimodal, multiscale experiments and protect your investment with a clear upgrade path capability. Improve your system as new features are released and leverage the fact that all GeminiSEMs are plugged into the ZEISS ZEN core ecosystem. This gives you access to:
- ZEN Connect - organize and align your image data in the correlative workspace.
- ZEN Intellesis - for advanced AI-powered, machine or deep learning for image segmentation.
- ZEN data storage - manage projects centrally by connecting data from different instruments.
- ZEN Automated Imaging for SEMs – helps to bridge light and electron microscopy by simplifying electron microscope operation.
- ZEN’s analytical modules - report and analyze segmented data in materials’ research, e.g. GxP, grains, NMI analysis.
Your scanning electron microscope measures and analyzes all kinds of samples in 2D: to analyze the surfaces of samples in 3D, use 3DSM, the optional sotware package from ZEISS. Get topographical information by reconstructing a complete 3D model of your sample’s surface using the signals of the aBSD or the AsB detector.
ZEISS recommends Dragonfly Pro from Object Research Systems (ORS)
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.
Turn your ZEISS GeminiSEM 360 or GeminiSEM 460 into a super-quick high resolution 3D imaging system with 3View® technology from Gatan, Inc. 3View® is an ultramicrotome inside the SEM chamber that lets you acquire high resolution 3D data from resin-embedded cell and tissue samples – in the shortest possible time and the most convenient way. The sample is continuously cut and imaged so you can produce thousands of serial images in a single day. Unique ZEISS Gemini column technology makes the GeminiSEMs ideally suited to support this application. Now you can also enhance your GeminiSEM with Focal Charge Compensation to eliminate charging effects. ZEISS has released this gas injection system in collaboration with the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging. With Focal Charge Compensation, the result is spectacular image quality. When performing 3D nanohistology, electron microscopic investigation of tissue samples such as liver, kidney and lung by block-face imaging is extremely valuable for pathological research. By using Focal Charge Compensation to eliminate charging, these charge-prone tissue samples can be imaged with high resolution and speed in three dimensions.