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This paper reports on the substantial improvement of specimen quality by use of a low voltage (0.05 to ~1 keV), small diameter (~1 μm), argon ion beam following initial preparation using conventional broad-beam ion milling or focused ion beam. The specimens show significant reductions in the amorphous layer thickness and implanted artifacts. The targeted ion milling controls the specimen thickness according to the needs of advanced aberration-corrected and/or analytical transmission electron microscopy applications.
The role of slip transfer processes across the heterophase interfaces in two-phase TiAl intermetallics has been studied. Polysynthetically twinned crystals of TiAl (PST-TiAl) have been used as model systems for individual grains in technologically relevant polycrystalline lamellar TiAl alloys. Compressive plastic loads have been applied for orientations of the lamellar interfaces parallel and perpendicular to the loading directions to produce hard mode slip activity. Transmission electron microscopy has been used to determine the active deformation modes in the constituent phases and to study the slip transfer across heterophase interfaces. The results are discussed with respect to the mechanical behavior of PST-TiAl and lamellar TiAl alloys, which is of relevance to in-service performance and metallurgical processing operations.