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Hitachi High-Technologies in Canada

FIB-SEM System for True 3D Structural Analysis

The newly developed FIB-SEM system from Hitachi, the NX9000 incorporates an optimized layout for true high resolution serial sectioning to tackle the latest demands in 3D structural analysis and for TEM analysis.
The NX9000 FIB-SEM system allows the highest precision in material processing for a wide range of areas relating to advanced materials, electronic devices, biological tissues and a multitude of other applications.


  • SEM column and FIB column are orthogonally arranged to optimize column layout for 3D structural analysis.
  • Combination of high brightness cold field emission electron source and high sensitivity optics support analysis of a wide range of materials from magnetic materials to biological tissues.
  • Micro-sampling system and Triple Beam system allow high quality sample preparation for TEM and atom probe applications.

Ion milling and observation at normal incidence in real-time for true analytical imaging

The SEM column and FIB column are orthogonally arranged to realize normal incident SEM imaging of FIB cross sections.
Orthogonal column arrangement eliminates aspect deformation, foreshortening of cross sectional images and shift of FOV (Field Of View) during serial section imaging, which cannot be avoided by conventional FIB-SEM systems. The NX9000 images produced enable highly accurate 3D structural analysis. Optical correlative microscopy can be applied easily due to the benefit of surface planar EM imaging.

Conventional FIB-SEM , Orthogonally arranged FIB-SEM

Sample : Mouse brain neuron
Sample courtesy of Yoshiyuki Kubota, Ph.D., Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS)

Cut & See・3D-EDS*1・3D-EBSD*1 available for a wide variety of materials


Cut & See supports high resolution, high contrast imaging of biological tissues, semiconductors, and magnetic materials such as steel and nickel at low accelerating voltage.
Serial section images can be collected with high throughput due to the proper geometry of the ion and electron column.

1nm step Cut&See , Serial section images

Sample : NAND flash memory
SEM accelerating voltage : 1 kV
Cutting interval : 1 nm
Number of cut : 300


Serial section SEM images and serial section elemental maps can be collected using 3D-EDS.
Large area silicon drift detector reduces acquisition time and enables elemental mapping at low accelerating voltage.


Sample : Fuel cell electrode
SEM accelerating voltage : 5 kV
Cutting interval : 100 nm
Number of cut : 212

Sample courtesy of Prof. Naoki Shikazono, University of Tokyo


Simultaneous SEM, FIB and EBSD signals are obtained for 3D-EBSD without moving the stage during FIB sectioning and EBSD analysis. Accuracy and throughput of 3D crystal orientation analysis and segmentation yield high quality and less post-processing correction.


Sample : Ni
SEM accelerating voltage : 20 kV
Cutting interval : 150 nm
Number of cut : 150


Hitachi patents:
US6118122, US6538254, US6828566, US7138628, US7345289, US7397050, US7397051, US7442942, US7525108, US7550750, US8198603, US8569719, US8642958, US8664598, and other patents, as of Jun., 2015


SEM Electron source Cold cathode field emission source
Accelerating voltage 0.1 - 30 kV
Resolution 2.1 nm@1 kV
1.6 nm@15 kV
FIB Ion source Ga liquid metal ion source
Accelerating voltage 0.5 - 30 kV
Resolution 4.0 nm@30 kV
Maximum probe current 100 nA
Standard detector In-column SED / In-column BSED / Chamber SED
Stage X 0 - 20 mm *2
Y 0 - 20 mm *2
Z 0 - 20 mm *2
θ 0 - 360° *2
τ -25 - 45° *2
Maximum sample size 6 mm x 6 mm, 2 mm thick
Stroke is limited by each sample holder