Zeiss Auriga Laser

The Zeiss Auriga Laser system combines the advantages of the CrossBeam technology, consisting of a focused ion beam column (Orsay Physics Ga+ ion FIB) and a scanning electron column (Gemini  Schottky field emission) - with the capability of fast material removal by a femtosecond pulse laser. The integrated OneFive Origami 10XP femtosecond laser produces pulses with a duration of 400 fs and a maximum average power of 4 W. Further it offers the possibility to operate at wavelengths of 1030, 515 or 343 nm.

By employing a laser for material ablation, the removal rates are orders of magnitude higher as the rates achievable with the FIB technique. While continuous and short pulse laser lead to an extended heat affected zone, ultrashort pulse laser (< picosecond) exert no thermal influence on the surrounding material. Therefore a femtosecond laser offers an ideal tool for micrometer-sized sample preparation and pre-preparation. After a fast processing of arbitrary structures with the laser, the FIB allows a precise rework. An additional capability of the FIB system is the preparation of special features, for example round micro-pillars.

The electron beam of the SEM can be used to simultaneously observe and control the milling process of the FIB. For imaging and analysis an Everhart Thornley Detector (SE-Detector), an Inlens-Detector and a four quadrant backscatter detector are available. Furthermore the workstation is equipped with an Inlens Energy selective Backscatter (EsB) Detector, which provides nano-scale compositional information in combination with high spatial resolution. At Erich Schmid Institute the Auriga Laser system is mainly used to fabricate micro-mechanical test specimens and study the influence of the preparation parameters on the structural and mechanical properties of materials.

More details on the setup and the performance of the system can be found in the following publication:

M.J. Pfeifenberger et al., The use of femtosecond laser ablation as a novel tool for rapid micro-mechanical sample preparation, Materials & Design 121, (2017) 109-118.

This work features a case study on the preparation of micro-mechanical cantilevers in tungsten foils and demonstrates the capabilities of the FIB/fs-laser combination.