Nanostructure research and electron microscopy

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Application of focused ion beam technology for advanced TEM specimen preparation

For aberration-corrected (Cs-corrected) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) the quality of TEM specimens is of crucial importance. High-energy focused gallium ion beam milling (FIB) is widely applied for the preparation of TEM specimens. However, the specimens after the FIB milling are often too thick. In addition, damage and amorphization of the TEM specimen surface during the milling process occur. In order to overcome these disadvantages, low-energy Ar ion milling of FIB lamellae can be applied.

The research activity of the group focuses on the development of high-quality TEM specimens suitable for imaging of different thin films and interface structures in Cs-corrected STEM. We apply a combination of FIB with a focused low-energy Ar ion polishing as well as Monte-Carlo simulations implemented into SRIMpackage for understating the interaction of ions with a specimen surface.


Selected publications

  • A. Lotnyk, D. Poppitz, U. Ross, J.W. Gerlach, F. Frost, S. Bernütz, E. Thelander, B. Rauschenbach
    Focused high- and low-energy ion milling for TEM specimen preparation
    Microelectron. Reliab. 55 (2015) 2119-2125