1. Our readers will no doubt be familiar with Thermo Fisher, but can you give us a brief overview of the company and its output?

At Thermo Fisher, our mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. With our leading innovative technologies and deep applications expertise, we are the world leader in serving science. We help accelerate innovation and enhance productivity for our customers.

2. Can you explain Thermo Fisher’s ‘DualBeam’ line of microscopes and the unique advantages of ‘FIB-SEM technology’

Thermo Fisher has been productizing ‘DualBeams’ for 25 years now. A DualBeam combines all the nanoscale-resolution imaging capabilities of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with the highly localized sample modification capabilities of the focused ion beam (FIB). This enables our customers to access buried features or defects by locally removing material and then investigating below the surface with the SEM. With a conventional FIB, tens of microns can be removed in 15–30 minutes, allowing this characterization to happen without having to use other sample preparation equipment. This localized material removal can be automated in a sequence of material removal and imaging – the resulting images after every slice of material is removed can all be reconstructed to generate a 3D view of the sample, providing an understanding of, for example, the size and distribution of nano-pores, which can yield further insights about its porosity or permeability of the sample.

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