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Serial sectioning using a combined FIB and SEM is a method for three-dimensional imaging of material microstructures. Hitachi set out to achieve precise three-dimensional imaging of material microstructures with higher spatial resolution and contrast than previous instruments by utilizing a configuration in which the FIB and SEM are positioned orthogonally (perpendicularly), this being the ideal orientation for three-dimensional imaging. This manuscript gives an overview of an FIB-SEM with an orthogonal configuration intended for three-dimensional imaging, describes the multi-functionality and high-performance imaging that are features of the instrument, presents examples of its use, and considers future developments.
Group Leader, Microstructure Analysis Technology Group, Research Center for Structural Materials, National Institute for Materials Science