Search Research Equipment & Facilities

Ultra high resolution (cryo-) FIB-SEM


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a technique used for observation and analysis of the micro- and nanostructure of sample surfaces. The combination of SEM with a Focused Ion Beam (FIB-SEM) makes it possible to obtain sequential cross sections through the sample, which can be constructed into a full 3D representation of the internal structure. Using a Gas Injection System (GIS), materials with various electrical properties can be added by vapor deposition from a suitable gas to avoid artefacts due to milling. For soft materials, like emulsions and foods, the microscope can be used under cryogenic conditions (cryo-(FIB-)SEM). X-rays are emitted when the electron beam hits a sample, with an energy that is characteristic for each element. These can be detected with an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Detector (EDX), which enables identification of the composition and measurement of the abundance of elements in a sample. This equipment is part of the equipment portfolio of Unilever made available for sharing through Shared Research Facilities.

Technical Details

FIB-SEM Zeiss Auriga (Crossbeam)

  • Ultra high-resolution field emission scanning electron microscope
  • Schottky Field Emitter
  • Focused Ion beam (Ga liquid metal ion source)
  • Single Gas Injection System (GIS) – Platinum precursor
  • Charge compensation
  • Inlens, SE (Everhart-Thornley) and EsB (Energy and Angle Selective) detection
  • SmartSEM user interface
  • Gatan Alto2500 cryotransfer(/coating) system
  • EDX Oxford 80 mm detector – Aztec user interface
  • Resolution down to 1 – 2 nm (at 30 – 1 kV), Ga FIB resolution ~ 3 nm


Wide range of applications in the area of food science, life science, plant science and material science.

Complementary Techniques


Sample preparation facilities

State-of-the-art facilities for sample preparation are available in the WEMC, among which:

  • Sputter coating and carbon coating
  • Critical point drying

Especially for cryo-samples:

  • Plunge freezing
  • Mirror freezing
  • Freeze substitution (Leica AFS)
  • High pressure freezing (Leica HPM100)
  • Cryo-ultramicrotome (Leica UC7/FC7) including glove box to provide low humidity environment

Contact Marcel Giesbers






Plant Sciences Group


Wageningen Electron Microscopy Centre

Last edited by Oscar de Vos on 2020-10-07