Facilities at Oxford University

The Oxford atom probe group currently uses the following analytical equipment.

Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) 5000XR

The brand new cutting-edge Cameca LEAP 5000X HR  is installed and fully operational. This has expanded further the range of materials that we will be testing and given us the advantages of improved detector efficiency, UV laser and more.


 Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP) 3000X HR

The LEAP™ 3000X HR is a commercial instrument that incorporates a local electrode so that it can analyse microtips on flat or wedge-shaped specimens as well as conventional needle-shaped samples. A large-angle spherical reflectron is also implemented to enhance the mass resolution. A picosecond pulsed laser can be used to initiate field evaporation, allowing analysis of less conductive materials such as semiconductors.

LEAP™ 3000X HR

  • Mass resolution 1000 FWHM, 500 FWTM
  • Field-of-view up to 200nm diameter
  • Typical volume of analysis 200,000 nm3 in 1 hour
  • Allows analysis of silicon "microtips"
  • Picosecond laser pulsing
  • Digital Field Ion Microscopy

3D Atom Probe

The 3DAP™-LAR is also a commercial instrument which contains a linear reflectron design to yield high mass resolution. A reaction cell is incorporated into this instrument which allows specimens to be heated in the presence of different gases or gas mixtures. Less conductive materials and oxide films can be analysed by using picosecond laser pulsing


  • Mass resolution: 1000 FWHM, 500 FWTM, 200 FWHM
  • Field-of-view up to 100nm x 100nm
  • Typical volume of analysis: 20,000nm3 in 1 hour
  • Built-in reaction cell for catalysis studies
  • Picosecond laser pulsing
  • Field ion microscopy


Focussed Ion Beam (FIB)

The Department of Materials has access to various Focussed Ion Beam machines that are used for the preparation of AP/FIM specimens for site specific, thin films and multilayers analysis. The inhouse FIBs consist of the single beam FEI FIB200 and the high resolution dual beam SEM/FIBs Zeiss NVision 40 and Zeiss Auriga equipped with a Gemini column and Kleindiek micromanipulators.

SEM combined with either EDX/TKD

Several groups in the department own SEMs with various advanced capabilities, and collaborations which enable us to  perform alternative analyses on the atom probe needles before running them are frequent. We have specimen holders which enable the observation of specimens for Atom probe in any departmental SEMs. More information about these facilities can be found at the Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis Group .


There are also single-tilt specimen holders for observing FIM specimens in both the JEOL 2100 and JEOL 3000FX Transmission Electron Microscopes. More information about these facilities can also be found at the Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis Group .