In-situ Lift-Out (INLO) Strategies - Overview and Advantages of Lift-Out Strategies for Xtreme Access (XA) Owners by Omniprobe

Topics Covered

Background
In-situ Lift-Out (INLO) by Traditional Needle-Weld Method
Advantages of Traditional In-situ Lift-Out
     Reliability
     Speed
     Cost
Accessories Offered by Omniprobe Enable Needle INLO with Xtreme Access™ Nanomanipulator
In-situ Lift-Out (INLO) by Short-Cut™ Modification of Traditional Needle-Weld Method
Accessories Offered by Omniprobe Enable INLO with Short-Cut™

Background

Omniprobe, Inc. is an industry leader in the manufacturing of accessories enabling "nano-lab" capabilities for electron and ion beam microscopes. Products include innovative nano-manipulation products for electrical/mechanical testing and sample preparation as well as gas injector systems. The original flagship product is the AutoProbe™ 100.1 for TEM sample prep via the "in-situ lift-out" method.

Incorporated in 1999, Omniprobe has leveraged their vision of "time-saving tools designed by expert users" into a successful enterprise that has become the number one volume seller of in-situ chamber-mounted manipulation tools for TEM sample prep. The products service all sectors of the science community, from nanotechnology to biology to semiconductor.

Omniprobe's development team includes several employees that formerly held Senior Member of Technical Staff or higher positions at Texas Instruments in Dallas, as well as diverse education backgrounds ranging from Microbiology to Materials Science, Physics and Electrical Engineering.

In-situ Lift-Out (INLO) by Traditional Needle-Weld Method

The traditional method for in-situ lift-out is comprised of 3 basic steps: 1) FIB-milling a small select area (microsample), 2) using a straight probe needle (typically tungsten) to physically attach to the liftout sample via FIB-assisted deposition (welding) for lift-out, and 3) transfer of the sample from the probe needle to a holder (such as TEM grid) for fi nal thinning and/or analysis. The Xtreme Access™ manipulator can be easily adapted to this method with a few accessories.

Advantages of Traditional In-situ Lift-Out

There are signifi cant advantages of traditional in-situ lift-out for XA owners:

Reliability

INLO is the most secure, successful strategy for lift-out compared to ex-situ methods and non-welding in-situ methods, with a success rate of 90-100%. One customer reports that 9 out of 10 lift-outs in his lab are performed using straight needles instead of Xtreme Magic™ end effectors, because nearly every sample is too valuable to lose.

Speed

Lift-out is fast using Omniprobe’s patented Total Release™ method to create the lift-out sample, and there is no requirement to mill the desired fi nal shape into an end-eff ector. Total Release™ enables high through-put for labs using TEM for process control and labs needing quick sample preparation and minimal use of FIB time.

Cost

Straight needles (W or W/Ni) plus Omniprobe grids (Cu or Mo) are less expensive than the Xtreme Magic™ end effectors.

Accessories Offered by Omniprobe Enable Needle INLO with Xtreme Access™ Nanomanipulator

The following accessories offered by Omniprobe enable needle INLO with the Xtreme Access™ nanomanipulator:

TEM grid holder

Single Sample Holder (holds single TEM grid) TGH-0001.10.01

Tem Grid Holder, SS (holds 2 TEM grids) TGH-0001.06.00

TEM Grid Holder (holds 2 grids, non-magnetic to enable ultra high magnifi cation (>80kx) applications) TGH-0001.07.00

TEM grids (3-post Cu and Mo grids, 4 and 5-post Cu grids)

XA probe tip holder for straight needles FG - 100317 probe holder and storage vial

XA straight needles PT - 0001.04.01, box of 10

In-situ Lift-Out (INLO) by Short-Cut™ Modification of Traditional Needle-Weld Method

Omniprobe has made traditional INLO more user friendly and even more reliable by modifying step 3 of traditional INLO (attaching the sample to a holder, typically a TEM grid). This approach also effectively reduces the amount of preparation time in the FIB. Instead of performing the task of welding the sample to a grid and cutting away the probe, the probe needle carrying the sample is removed from the FIB immediately after the lift-out step and is mechanically attached to a TEM compatible holder by a simple push-button, table-top, Short- Cut™ pneumatic press. Once attached, it can be re-introduced into the FIB for final thinning or STEM imaging, etc. The innovative TEM-compatible sample holder easily enables backside thinning for complex samples that exhibit severe curtaining effects when milled from the top side, allowing production of high quality TEM lamellae leading to superb images. Additionally, the Short-Cut™ joining method limits the volume of excess support material surrounding the sample, enabling cleaner EDX spectra.

Accessories Offered by Omniprobe Enable INLO with Short-Cut™

The following accessories offered by Omniprobe enable INLO with the Short-Cut™:

250 probe tip holder for straight needles FG-100319-0

Straight needles for XA Short-Cut™ PT-0001.06.01

Short-Cut™ Tool Contact Omniprobe for a quote

Short-Cut™ Coupons ( available for frontside or backside thinning in Cu, Mo coated Cu)

Source:Omniprobe

For more information on this source, please visit Omniprobe

Date Added: Oct 13, 2010 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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