Potsdam Imaging and Spectral Analysis (PISA) Facility

The Transmission Electron Microscopy TEM laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with a FEI Tecnai G2 F20 X-Twin transmission electron microscope and a FEI FIB200TEM Focused Ion Beam device for specimen preparation. The laboratory provides powerful techniques for characterization of crystal structure, microstructures and chemical composition of materials down to a near atomic level.


TEM and attachments:

  • FEI Tecnai G2 F20 X-Twin (200 kV)
  • FEG electron source
  • HAADF Detector
  • Gatan Tridiem (EELS, EFTEM)
  • EDAX energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy system

TEM sample holder:

  • Gatan double-tilt holder
  • Single-tilt tomography holder
  • Compustage low background double-tilt holder
  • single-tilt rotation holder
  • Gatan double-tilt liquid nitrogen holder
  • Gatan heating holder
FEI - Helios G4 UC - Dual Beam

FEI Helios G4 Dual Beam Helios G4 UC is part of the fourth generation of the leading Helios Dual Beam family. It combines the innovative Elstar electron column with high-current UC+ technology for extreme high-resolution imaging and the highest materials contrast with the superior Tomahawk ion column for the fastest, easiest, and most precise high-quality sample preparation. In addition to the most advanced electron and ion optics, the Helios G4 UC incorporates a suite of state-of-the-art technologies that enable simple and consistent high-resolution S/TEM and Atom Probe Tomography (APT) sample preparation, as well as the highest-quality subsurface and 3D characterization, even on the most challenging samples.

Highest quality TEM sample preparation:

The latest technological innovations of the Helios G4, in combination with the easiest to use, comprehensive software and FEI’s application expertise, allow for the fastest and easiest preparation of HR-S/TEM samples for a wide range of materials. In order to achieve the highest-quality results, final polishing with low energy ions is required to minimize surface damage on the sample. FEI’s Tomahawk Focused Ion Beam (FIB) column not only delivers high-resolution imaging and milling at high voltages, but has also excellent low voltage performance, enabling the creation of high quality TEM lamella.

Key Features:

Fastest and easiest TEM sample preparation

Shortest time to Nano scale information

Reveal the finest details

Precise sample navigation

Artifact-free imaging Fast, accurate and precise milling

Specifications and Detectors:

Elstar extreme high-resolution field emission SEM column.

Resolution: 0.6 nm at 30 kV STEM, 0.7 nm at 1 kV, 1.0 nm at 500 V (ICD).

Electron beam current range: 0.8 pA to 100 nA

Accelerating voltage range: 200 V to 30 kV

Maximum horizontal field width: 2.3 mm at 4 mm WD

Ion beam current range: 0.1 pA to 65 nA

Accelerating Voltage range: 500 V to 30 kV

Elstar in-lens SE/BSE detector

Elstar in-column SE/BSE detector

Everhart-Thornley SE detector (ETD)

Retractable STEM3+ detector with BF/DF/HAADF segments

Gas Injection System

Easylift for precise in situ sample manipulation

AutoTEM wizard automated sample preparation

Zeiss Ultra Plus Scanning Electron Microscope

The Field Emission-Scanning Electron Microscope of the Zeiss Ultra Plus allow you to capture, analyze and supplement high-resolution images to get total information out of your sample. The complete detection system of the Ultra Plus combines a high-tech Gemini FE-SEM column with various detectors: the In-lens & SE-Detector for high resolution images, the in-lens Energy selective Backscatter Detector (EsB) & Annular Backscatter Detector (AsB) for impressive material contrast of any samples, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) for elemental analysis. We can use Ultra Plus in diverse scientific fields, including Materials and Geological Research: combined analytical procedures and retrieve of maximum amount of information from your sample and in Life Sciences to analyze samples easily with high throughput and get large volumes of data. Further, Ultra Plus also provides the option for analyzing biological specimen in natural state using Cryo attachment and Cathodoluminescence (CL) for mineralogical analysis.

Please send your request for SEM appointments to sem@gfz-potsdam.de

Instrument Specifications:

  •  Tungsten-zircon field-emission filament (Schottky type)
  • Acceleration voltage 0.02 to 30 kV
  •  High-vacuum system
  • Magnifications: 12- 1,000,000x for secondary electron (SE) images, 100-1,000,000x for backscattered electron (BSE) images.
  • Resolution 1.0 nm at 15 kV
  • Intersection-free beam projection (Gemini optics)
  • Probe current 4 pA – 20 nA
  • Quiet mode (noiseless and vibration-free operations)
  • Inlens SE and in-column BSE detectors (EsB)
  • ET-SE detector
  • Angle selective BSE detector (AsB)
  • UltraDry SDD (EDS) detector (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • Panchromatic (imaging) CL detector (EMSystems)
  • Mobile cryo table plus transfer system VCT 100 (LEICA/BAL-TEC)
  • High-vacuum coating machine (C & Au-Pd) MED 020 (LEICA/BAL-TEC)
  • Image output: 8-bit and 16-bit TIFFs, up to 3072 × 2304 pixels
  • Motorized six-axis eucentric stage (-4o to 70o tilt), coupled with Zeiss SmartSEM image navigation, enables quick and simple sample navigation.



FEI Quanta 3D Dual-Beam

The FEI Quanta 3D FEG is a state-of-the-art Dual Beam machine combines traditional thermal emission scanning electron microscope (SEM) with focused ion beam (FIB). This combination allows the characterization of materials in 2D and 3D (tomography), TEM sample preparation (TEM Lamella), observations at the subsurface of the specimens (cross section imaging) and structural modification of sample surfaces at the micrometer to nanometer scale. The machine features three different vacuum modes (High Vacuum, Low Vacuum & Environmental Modes), which accommodates the widest range of samples for SEM analysis, it can be either dry inorganic samples or hydrated biological samples. It also has an EBSD detector for the crystallographic orientation analysis, grain and phase analysis of material and geological samples with an optional EDS detector for semi-quantitative, point & shoot chemical analyses.

    Instrument Specifications

    Electron Column

    • High resolution field emission – SEM column optimized for high-brightness & high-current
    • Acceleration Voltage: 2kV to 30kV
    • Probe current: 1pA to 65 pA in 15 steps
    • Magnification – 30x – 1.000.000x
    • SE & BSE detectors
    • Low-vacuum SED (used in low vacuum mode)
    • EDAX-OIM electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) system
    • EDAX energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) system
    • Low vacuum mode
    • Maximum electron beam resolution - 0.8 nm at 30kV

    Focused Ion Beam Column

    • High-current ion column with Ga liquid-metal ion source
    • Ion source – 1kV to 30 kV  Omniprobe nanomanipulator
    • In situ Pt and C gas injection systems
    • XeF2 injection needle for local etching
    • Maximum ion beam resolution - 7 nm at 30kV
    • Avizo Fire for 3D reconstruction in nanotomography  
    Carbon & Gold-Palladium Sputter Coater
    Cryo Sample Holder
    Cryo Stage
    Cryo Sample Transfer

    Sample preparation instruments are available for all kinds of samples for scanning electron microscopes.

    1) Gold-Palladium Sputter Coater - Leica

    2) Carbon Coater - Leica

    3) Cryo Sample Preparation - Leica

    Contact PISA

    Liane G. Benning
    Section Head
    Prof. Dr. Liane G. Benning
    Interface Geochemistry
    Building C, Room 224
    14473 Potsdam
    +49 331 288-28970

    Contact (TEM)

    Richard Wirth
    Dr. Richard Wirth
    Interface Geochemistry
    +49 331 288-1371
    Dr. Vladimir Roddatis
    Interface Geochemistry
    Building C, Room 226
    14473 Potsdam
    +49 331 288-27567

    Contact (FIB)

    Anja Schreiber
    Anja Schreiber
    Interface Geochemistry
    Building C, Room 221
    14473 Potsdam
    +49 331 288-1372

    Contact (SEM, FIB)

    Sathish Mayanna
    Dr. Sathish Mayanna
    Interface Geochemistry

    Contact (SEM)

    Ilona Schäpan
    Interface Geochemistry
    Building C, Room 126
    14473 Potsdam
    +49 331 288-1455