Scanning electron microscopy combined with focused ion beam can image nano-structures spatially. We develop methods for reconstructing highly porous structures from the raw data.

Reconstruction of Highly Porous Structures from FIB-SEM Nano Tomograms

FIB-SEM is a serial sectioning technique allowing to image material structures with resolutions in the 10 nm range. For highly porous structures however, it is difficult to reconstruct the solid components from the resulting SEM image stack, since structures from lower layers "shine through" into the current plane.

Our morphological segmentation algorithm solves this problem. In order to validate it, a method for efficient simulation of realistic synthetic FIB-SEM images of porous structures has been developed.

Synthetic SEM image of a Boolean model
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Synthetic SEM image of a Boolean model
Segmentation result
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Segmentation result
Incorrectly classified pixels (11 percent in the section)
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Incorrectly classified pixels (11 percent in the section)



  • Fend, C.; Moghiseh, A.; Redenbach, C.; Schladitz, K.:
    Reconstruction of highly porous structures from FIB-SEM using a deep neural network trained on synthetic images.
    Journal of Microscopy, 281, Nr. 1, pp. 16-27, 2021.
  • Prill, T.; Redenbach, C.; Roldan, D.; Godehardt, M.; Schladitz, K.; Höhn, S.; Sempf, K.:
    Simulating permeabilities based on 3D image data of a layered nano-porous membrane. International Journal of Solids and Structures, 184, pp. 3-13, (2020).
  • Ott, T.; Roldán, D.; Redenbach, C.; Schladitz, K.; Godehardt, M.; Höhn, S.: 
    Three-dimensional structural comparison of tantalum glancing angle deposition thin films by FIB-SEM. Journal of Sensors and Sensor Systems 8 (2), pp. 305-315, (2019).
  • Wieser, C.; Prill, T.; Schladitz, K.:
    Multiscale Simulation Process and Application to Additives in Porous Composite Battery Electrodes.
    In Journal of Power Sources 277, pp.64-75, (2015).
  • Prill, T.; Schladitz, K.:
    Simulation of FIB-SEM Images for Analysis of Porous Microstructures.
    Scanning, Volume 35(3), pp. 189–195, (2013).
  • Prill, T.; Schladitz, K.; Jeulin, D.; Faessel, M.; Wieser, C.:
    Morphological Segmentation of FIB-SEM Data of Highly Porous Media.
    Journal of Microscopy, Volume 250-2, pp.77-87, (2013).