Cryo Focused Ion Beam-Scanning Electron Microscope (Cryo-FIB-SEM)

Aquilos 2 Cryo-FIB
Aquilos 2 is a cryo-DualBeam microscope dedicated to the preparation of cryo-lamella samples for Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) tomography of frozen-hydrated biological materials. The instrument includes innovative electron and ion optics with state-of-the-art patterning controls. The technology is combined with a dedicated cryo-stage, cooling, loading and transfer system, which allows for streamlined production of high quality cryo-lamellas for TEM tomography.

  • Electron and ion column:
    Field emission gun (FEG) assembly with Schottky emitter source, with voltage up to 30 kV; the assembly is optimized for high brightness/high current, providing low-noise imaging;
    Field emission focused ion beam optics with liquid metal ion source (LMIS) emitting Gallium ions, with voltage up to 30 kV.
  • Fully rotatable cryo-stage keeping samples at vitreous temperatures (<-170 °C) at all times, from sample transfer through all stages of lamella preparation process: 360° endless rotation; cooldown time to reach < -170 °C is <30 min.
  • Platinum deposition Gas Injection System (GIS) for deposition of protective layers.
  • Integrated retractable sputter coater for deposition of conductive layers on cells before, during and after milling.
  • Pre-tilted shuttle with integrated shutter system during cryo-transfers which allows for automated and streamlined production of high quality cryo-lamellas.
  • Automated acquisition of high-resolution 3D images. The software acquires data by milling serial sections (slices) and then imaging each slice of a user-defined volume of the frozen hydrated samples sample.
  • Enabling correlation of light microscopy and electron microscopy data, tiling, and stitching. The software allows to define and store regions of interest (ROIs) and assists in the computation of eucentric positions for milling and fast retrieval of ROIs.
  • Software enables the continuation of correlative microscopy experiments acquired on (cryo)-light microscopes, by allowing image and data import from external sources (light microscopes, other SEM, SDB or TEM systems). The external images can be used for fast navigation, stage control and for correlating the different image modalities with each other.
  • Equipped with software for automated preparation of the S/TEM samples in cryo conditions enabling in situ lamella preparation.
  • Python-based application programming interface (API) that offers control of SEM and DualBeam systems.

📍The system is located at CNR-IOM laboratories in Area Science Park..

Go Back