Search Research Equipment

Ultra high resolution (cryo-) FIB-SEM


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a technique used for observation and analysis of the micro- and nanostructure of sample surfaces. The combination of SEM with a Focused Ion Beam (FIB-SEM) makes it possible to obtain sequential cross sections through the sample, which can be constructed into a full 3D representation of the internal structure. Using a Gas Injection System (GIS), materials with various electrical properties can be added by vapor deposition from a suitable gas to avoid artefacts due to milling. For soft materials, like emulsions and foods, the microscope can be used under cryogenic conditions (cryo-(FIB-)SEM). X-rays are emitted when the electron beam hits a sample, with an energy that is characteristic for each element. These can be detected with an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Detector (EDX), which enables identification of the composition and measurement of the abundance of elements in a sample. This equipment is part of the equipment portfolio of Unilever made available for sharing through Shared Research Facilities.

Technical Details

FIB-SEM Zeiss Auriga (Crossbeam)

  • Ultra high-resolution field emission scanning electron microscope
  • Schottky Field Emitter
  • Focused Ion beam (Ga liquid metal ion source)
  • Single Gas Injection System (GIS) – Platinum precursor
  • Charge compensation
  • Inlens, SE (Everhart-Thornley) and EsB (Energy and Angle Selective) detection
  • SmartSEM user interface
  • Gatan Alto2500 cryotransfer(/coating) system
  • EDX Oxford 80 mm detector – Aztec user interface
  • Resolution down to 1 – 2 nm (at 30 – 1 kV), Ga FIB resolution ~ 3 nm


Wide range of applications in the area of food science, life science, plant science and material science.

Complementary Techniques


Sample preparation facilities

State-of-the-art facilities for sample preparation are available in the WEMC, among which:

  • Sputter coating and carbon coating
  • Critical point drying

Especially for cryo-samples:

  • Plunge freezing
  • Mirror freezing
  • Freeze substitution (Leica AFS)
  • High pressure freezing (Leica HPM100)
  • Cryo-ultramicrotome (Leica UC7/FC7) including glove box to provide low humidity environment

Last edited by Oscar de Vos on 2022-02-09

To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life.

This Shared Research Facilities equipment database offers researchers from universities, research institutes and companies, including start-ups, the opportunity to find research equipment with their relevant expert and to use it, generally on a pay-per-use basis. The equipment is available at different locations at Wageningen Campus or other (company) locations. If you want to share your own research devices or if you need more information, please contact us.