Oxford Instruments OmniProbe cryo lift-out option extends lift-out capability to cryogenic samples, including those prepared by high-pressure freezing. 

Cryo-Shaft-Image-web.jpgCryo-FIB lift-out can be performed on samples that are cooled as low as -180ºC by third party cryo systems. This enables nanoanalysis over a wide range of new sample types, and across many industries, by cryo-TEM or cryo-atom probe instruments.

The cryo lift-out option consists of a custom probe shaft assembly with thermally isolated probe tip that is passively cooled via direct connection to the cryo system’s cold finger. A non-exclusive license is included to practice Oxford Instruments’ proprietary ice attachment method.

The cryo lift-out option is available for the OmniProbe 200 system and is field retrofittable.

  • Expand research opportunities
    • Achieve high quality data on samples formerly difficult or impossible to analyze at high resolution
      • Materials that normally react with Ga+ or are heat-sensitive
      • Aqueous samples and those with liquid-solid interfaces
      • Batteries, bio-implants, hydrogels
      • Any sample too large for plunge-freezing
  • Obtain superior images and results
    • Improve data quality by reducing artifacts induced by Ga+ FIB
      • Avoid chemical reactions (ex: III-V materials)
      • Avoid temperature effects (ex: polymers)
  • Improve tomographic data reconstruction and accuracy
    • Achieve better ultrastructure preservation by avoiding cryoultramicrotome-induced sample compression
    • Achieve high quality results from TEM and atom probe analysis of large cells and tissues

Most batteries use organic electrolytes currently, and the interfaces between electrodes and electrolyte are critical to many aspects of battery performance.  Many processes that occur at these interfaces are not well understood, due to a lack of ability to directly study them at high resolution. By pairing cryo lift-out with cryo-TEM/STEM, for the first time very high resolution imaging can be achieved at these liquid-solid interfaces.  

Although liquid cell holders can be employed for TEM imaging, they are limited by the sample size and the type of liquid that can be used. More viscous liquids such as organic electrolytes cause the thin windows of the liquid cells to bulge out, leading to reduced resolution through scattering effects and beam broadening.

With cryo lift-out, one achieves very high resolution images of batteries by freezing them, extracting a cross-section from the liquid-solid interface by cryo-FIB lift-out, and FIB thinning to <100nm thickness for high resolution study of the interface.

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