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Improved Focused Ion Beam Target Preparation of (S)TEM Specimen—A Method for Obtaining Ultrathin Lamellae

  • Lorenz Lechner (a1), Johannes Biskupek (a1) and Ute Kaiser (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 21 March 2012

Specimen quality is vital to (scanning) transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations. In particular, thin specimens are required to obtain excellent high-resolution TEM images. Conventional focused ion beam (FIB) preparation methods cannot be employed to reliably create high quality specimens much thinner than 20 nm. We have developed a method for in situ target preparation of ultrathin TEM lamellae by FIB milling. With this method we are able to routinely obtain large area lamellae with coplanar faces, thinner than 10 nm. The resulting specimens are suitable for low kV TEM as well as scanning TEM. We have demonstrated atomic resolution by Cs-corrected high-resolution TEM at 20 kV on a FIB milled Si specimen only 4 nm thick; its amorphous layer measuring less than 1 nm in total.

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U. Kaiser , J. Biskupek , J. Meyer , J. Leschner , L. Lechner , H. Rose , M. Stöger-Pollach , A. Khlobystov , P. Hartel , H. Müller , S. Eyhusen & G. Benner (2011). Transmission electron microscopy at 20 kV for imaging and spectroscopy. Ultramicroscopy 111, 12391246.

H.-J. Kang , J. Kim , J. Oh , T. Back & H. Kim (2010). Ultra-thin TEM sample preparation with advanced backside FIB milling method. Microsc Microanal 16, 170171.

R. Langford & C. Clinton (2004). In situ lift-out using a FIB-SEM system. Micron 35, 607611.

J.P. McCaffrey & A. Barna (1997). Preparation of cross-sectional TEM samples for low-angle ion milling. Microsc Res Techniq 36, 362367.

H. Rose (2008). History of direct aberration correction. In Advances in Imaging and Electron Physics, vol. 153, pp. 339. New York: Elsevier.

T. Wunderer , F. Lipski , J. Hertkorn , S. Schwaiger & F. Scholz (2009). Fabrication of 3D InGaN/GaN structures providing semipolar GaN planes for efficient green light emission. Phys Status Sol C 6, S490S493.

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Microscopy and Microanalysis
  • ISSN: 1431-9276
  • EISSN: 1435-8115
  • URL: /core/journals/microscopy-and-microanalysis
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