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A Method for Producing Site-Specific TEM Specimens from Low Contrast Materials with Nanometer Precision

  • Henrik Pettersson (a1), Samira Nik (a1), Jonathan Weidow (a1) and Eva Olsson (a1)


A method that enables high precision extraction of transmission electron microscope (TEM) specimens in low contrast materials has been developed. The main idea behind this work is to produce high contrast markers on both sides of and close to the area of interest. The markers are filled during the depositing of the protective layer. The marker material can be of either Pt or C depending on which one gives the highest contrast. It is thereby possible to distinguish the location of the area of interest during focused ion beam (FIB) milling and ensure that the TEM sample is extracted precisely at the desired position. This method is generally applicable and enables FIB/scanning electron microscope users to make high quality TEM specimens from small features and low contrast materials without a need for special holders. We explain the details of this method and illustrate its potential by examples from three different types of materials.


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