Helium Ion Microscopy: The difference 7,362 makes


Helium Ion Microscopy: The difference 7,362 makes

Biomedical Engineering Boardroom
Building 261
Ground Floor, 203 Bouverie Street


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The helium ion microscope (HIM) is a scanned ion probe instrument that is similar in many respects to that of the well-established scanning electron microscope (SEM). Fundamentally, however, the two differ in that the HIM utilises a beam of He+ ions generated from a gas field ion source (GFIS). This affords beam characteristics superior to that of an electron source; very low chromatic aberration, orders of magnitude higher brightness, greater depth of field, an ultimate imaging resolution that is not diffraction limited and is applicable to insulators without a coating. Unsurprisingly then, the HIM may be destined to become an important imaging tool in the materials and life sciences, where there is an ever-pressing demand to look closer at surfaces and elucidate the finest nanoscale features.

At the University of Melbourne’s Materials Characterisation and Fabrication Platform (MCFP) we host the Zeiss ORION NanoFab HIM, one of only 4 in Australia. This seminar will introduce and discuss the technique, its strengths (and weaknesses) and will discuss current applications including imaging cells, milling plasmonic devices, lithography on polymer resists, and nanoscale helium ion dosing and defect creation.


  • Dr Anders Barlow
    Dr Anders Barlow, Academic Specialist within the Materials Characterisation & Fabrication Platform (MCFP)