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Transmission Electron Microscope Specimen Preparation of Metal Matrix Composites Using the Focused Ion Beam Miller

  • Julie M. Cairney (a1), Robert D. Smith (a1) and Paul R. Munroe (a1)

Abstract

Transmission electron microscope samples of two types of metal matrix composites were prepared using both traditional thinning methods and the more novel focused ion beam miller. Electropolishing methods were able to produce, very rapidly, thin foils where the matrix was electron transparent, but the ceramic reinforcement particles remained unthinned. Thus, it was not possible in these foils to study either the matrix-reinforcement interface or the microstructure of the reinforcement particles themselves. In contrast, both phases in the composites prepared using the focused ion beam miller thinned uniformly. The interfaces in these materials were clearly visible and the ceramic reinforcement was electron transparent. However, microstructural artifacts associated with ion beam damage were also observed. The extent of these artifacts and methods of minimizing their effect were dependent on both the materials and the milling conditions used.

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Transmission Electron Microscope Specimen Preparation of Metal Matrix Composites Using the Focused Ion Beam Miller

  • Julie M. Cairney (a1), Robert D. Smith (a1) and Paul R. Munroe (a1)

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