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KNI Special Seminar: FIB/SEM 3D Tomography for Nano- and Micro-structural Analysis

Monday, April 24, 2023
1:00pm to 2:00pm
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  • Public Event

Join the Kavli Nanoscience Institute for a special seminar featuring the KNI FAST Prize co-leads, Dr. Israel Kellersztein and Dr. Annalena (Lena) Wolff. Their talk will summarize the processes and outcomes of their FAST Prize project, which brings new 3D nanoscale analysis capabilities to the KNI Laboratory. Read more about their project, here.

Refreshments will be served before the event.

FIB/SEM 3D tomography for nano- and microstructural analysis

Israel Kellersztein, Annalena Wolff, and Chiara Daraio

The analysis of materials across various length scales remains a critical challenge in materials science. Whilst SEM and TEM are well established techniques and provide 2D information of a sample, only limited information can be extracted either from the surface (SEM) or a ~100 nm thin slice through the sample (TEM). In either case, accurate information about the 3D structure, and thus a meaningful analysis of geometry sensitive properties cannot be achieved. This impedes the complete structural understanding of numerous materials.

Whilst volume imaging can be done with different approaches such as atom probe and serial block face imaging and CT (mm scale), FIB/SEM 3D tomography allows to site specifically analyze a material on the nm to micron scale with nm precision. In this FIB/SEM technique the sample is sliced with nm thickness using the FIB and each exposed slice is imaged/analyzed with the SEM (EDS or EBSD). The sequential set of 2D images is then reconstructed into a 3D model, thus offering to analyze 3D structures and provide high-resolution 3D imaging of materials at the nano- to micron scale.

This presentation introduces the underlying principles of this technique, its advantages and limitations, and how it can be applied in different fields of materials science and engineering. The technique will be demonstrated on a microchip; however, additional examples of 3D reconstructed materials will be given to show its applicability to a broad variety of materials. The now established techniques of FIB/SEM 3D reconstruction will provide the KNI Lab user community with new opportunities for research and collaboration and to gain understanding of new materials with advanced properties and functions, not just in 2D but 3D.

Israel Kellersztein

Israel Kellersztein is a postdoctoral scholar at the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Caltech and has been awarded the Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellowship. His research is focused on elucidating the intricate structure-property-functionality relationship in biological composite materials, with the goal of developing novel bioinspired structural materials. Additionally, he is exploring the potential of additive manufacturing to create sustainable biomass-based composite materials for structural applications. Israel received his PhD in Materials and Chemical Sciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and his MSc in Polymers and Plastics Engineering from Shenkar College in Israel.

Annalena Wolff

Annalena (Lena) Wolff is the Microscopist at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute. Lena joins the KNI from the Central Analytical Research Facility (CARF) at Queensland University of Technology, where she managed, trained users, and developed new methodologies on a suite of focused-ion beams and scanning electron microscopes. Lena is an international expert on the Zeiss Orion NanoFab He-ion microscope. She received her Ph.D. in Physics from Bielefeld University in Germany.

Lena is the editor-in-chief of the Helium Ion Microscopy Newsletter. Working with John Notte (Chief Scientist for Business Development, Carl Zeiss), this international newsletter brings essential information, news, and events about this technology to a network of ion microscopists around the globe. Over the past several years, Lena has actively participated in science communication and media efforts to educate the public on science and technology.

About the FAST Prize

The Kavli Nanoscience Institute established the FAST Prize to support small-scale nanoscience-based projects that will drive new capabilities in the KNI Laboratory. This program nurtures collaboration between Caltech faculty and researchers with KNI technical staff, combining expertise from both perspectives to create new, tangible advancements for current and future members of our multi-user facility.

Submissions for the inaugural FAST Prize were received in December and a formal review committee evaluated each proposal. The award comes with up to $15,000 to support KNI Lab usage fees and a $10,000 unburdened gift to directly facilitate the project's ability to expand techniques within the KNI Lab. Learn more about the KNI FAST Prize and the next call for propsals here.

For more information, please contact Tiffany Kimoto by phone at 3914 or by email at [email protected].