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Model 1040

NanoMill® TEM specimen preparation system

The NanoMill system’s revolutionary ultra-low energy, inert gas, concentrated ion beam produces specimens free from amorphous and implanted layers. Ideal for polishing FIB-milled specimens for transmission electron microscopy imaging and analysis.
NanoMill® TEM specimen preparation system

For many of today’s advanced materials, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is the best technique for gathering valuable information about microstructure and properties. Because features in nanotechnology research and semiconductor device specimens continue to decrease in size, it is essential that specimens be very thin and free of preparation-induced artifacts. These requirements are even more important when using TEMs with aberration correction and monochromated electron sources where resolution is sub-Ångström. 

The NanoMill system uses an ultra-low energy, concentrated ion beam to produce the highest quality specimens for transmission electron microscopy.

  • Ultra-low-energy, inert-gas ion source

  • Concentrated ion beam with scanning capabilities

  • Removes damaged layers without redeposition

  • Ideal for post-focused ion beam processing

  • Enhances the results from conventionally prepared specimens

  • Room temperature to cryogenically cooled NanoMillingSM process

  • Rapid specimen exchange for high-throughput applications

  • Computer-controlled, fully programmable, and easy to use

  • Contamination-free, dry vacuum system 

Removal of amorphous layer from nanoneedle specimens fabricated by focused ion beam

The nanoneedle sample configuration allows the use of multiple characterization techniques with a single sample. These techniques include nanoscale mechanical and electrical tests, transmission electron microscopy, and atom probe/field ion microscopy. Residual amorphization and ion implantation must be minimized.

TEM specimen configuration: Model 1040 NanoMill® TEM specimen preparation system

A guide for preparing specimens for a demonstration of the NanoMill system.

The role of TEM specimen preparation in understanding aluminum alloy precipitation hardening mechanism

Precipitation hardening is a process for improving the mechanical properties of aluminum alloys. Targeting a region of interest using the NanoMill system resulted in TEM specimens of high-quality and thickness that were suitable for high resolution TEM and aberration-corrected STEM imaging and analysis.

A small spot, inert gas, ion milling process as a complementary technique to focused ion beam specimen preparation

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...

An atomic scale structural investigation of nanometer-sized n precipitates in the 7050 aluminium alloy

Using high-angle-annular-dark-field (HAADF) scanning-transmission-electron microscopy (STEM), we have investigated n-precipitates in the Al-Zn-Mg-Cu (AA7050) aluminum alloy.

Atomic scale structure and chemical composition across order-disorder interfaces

Through a combination of aberration-corrected high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy and three-dimensional atom probe tomography, the true atomic-scale structure and change in chemical composition across the complex order-disorder interface in a metallic alloy has been determined...

Atomic structure of amorphous shear bands in boron carbide

Amorphous shear bands are the main deformation and failure mode of super-hard boron carbide subjected to shock loading and high pressures at room temperature. Nevertheless, the formation mechanisms of the amorphous shear bands remain a long-standing scientific curiosity mainly because of the lack of experimental...

Characterization of the inner structure of porous TiO2 nanoparticle films in dye sensitive solar cells by FIB tomography and transmi...

A combined methodical approach is tested for the first time with respect to the characterization of the inner structure of porous TiO2 layers infiltrated with ruthenium molecular sensitizer as typically used in modern dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC). Their performance is directly linked to the surface area...

Elucidating surface properties by correlative TEM and APT studies of ideal Mg specimens prepared under controlled environments

Previous works have shown the reduction of surface damage and oxidation by both broad and concentrated Ar ion beam milling techniques under controlled environments. This work is extended to differentiate the Mg bulk surface and subsurface properties as it relates to Ga diffusion from optimal specimens that were...

Focused high- and low-energy ion milling for TEM specimen preparation

For atomic-resolution aberration-corrected (Cs-corrected) scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) the quality of prepared TEM specimens is of crucial importance. High-energy focused gallium ion beam milling (FIB) is widely used for the production of TEM lamella. However, the specimens after conventional FIB...

Hierarchically structured diamond composite with exceptional toughness

We report the structural characterization of a diamond composite hierarchically assembled with coherently interfaced diamond polytypes (different stacking sequences), interwoven nanotwins and interlocked nanograins. The architecture of the composite enhances toughness more than nanotwinning alone, without...

Improved sample preparation technique for transmission Kikuchi diffraction analyses allows large area data acquisition

A post-FIB sample preparation technique using a concentrated ion beam milling system that overcomes the sample thickness, uniformity, and large area requirements for optimal TKD analysis. In addition, the resulting samples are free of structural damage and amorphization.

Influence of foreign-object damage on crack initiation and early crack growth during high-cycle fatigue of Ti-6Al-4V

The objective of this work is to provide a rational approach to define the limiting conditions for high-cycle fatigue (HCF) in the presence of foreign-object damage (FOD). This study focused on the role of simulated FOD in affecting the initiation and early growth of small surface fatigue cracks in a Ti-6Al-4V alloy...

Mechanisms of cracking in pure magnesium during high strain rate plastic deformation

A mechanism of cracking is proposed for pure magnesium, taking into account ASB formation and dynamic recrystallization. Under dynamic high-strain loading conditions, the geometrically necessary dislocation (GND) density increases within the grains. To accommodate the strain, the grains tend to rotate and GND...

Morphological evolution of GP zones and nanometer-sized precipitates in the AA2050 aluminum alloy

Cs-corrected high-angle-annular-dark-field scanning-transmission-electron microscopy (Cs-corrected HAADF-STEM) was employed to examine the phases in Al-Cu-Li alloy (AA2050)...

NanoMilling and STEM imaging of sub-50 nm InP HEMT

We employ advanced microscopy techniques with sub-nanometer resolutions to examine physical characteristics of high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) at the atomic scale. The microscopy techniques include a FIB/SEM, the NanoMill system, TEM, and energy dispersive spectroscopy.

Phase transformation strengthening of high-temperature superalloys

Decades of research has been focused on improving the high-temperature properties of nickel-based superalloys, an essential class of materials used in the hot section of jet turbine engines, allowing increased engine efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions. Here we introduce a new 'phase-transformation strengthening''...

Post-FIB TEM sample preparation using a low energy argon beam

Focused ion beam (FIB) milling is a widely used technique, which enables TEM samples to be prepared in plan-view and cross-section, and from specific, sub-micron semiconductor devices. Bombarding the specimen surface with energetic ions or neutral atoms causes surface damage or surface amorphization. This surface...

Practical aspects of the use of the X2 holder for HRTEM-quality TEM sample preparation by FIB

We demonstrate how to produce a thin lamella with a nearly damage-free surface using the X2 holder in combination with sub-kV polishing in the Fischione Instruments' NanoMill® TEM specimen preparation system.

Raising the standard of specimen preparation for aberration-corrected TEM and STEM

For accurate TEM and STEM imaging of materials systems on the atomic scale, artifacts must be reduced to the absolute minimum. A higher standard in TEM specimen preparation is achieved by complementing conventional and FIB milling with concentrated, ultra-low-energy Ar ion beam processing.

Sample preparation by focused ion beam micromachining for transmission electron microscopy imaging in front-view

The development of an original sample preparation method for transmission electron microscopy using focused ion beam (FIB) micromachining. The described method rests on the use of a removable protective shield to prevent the damaging of the sample surface during the FIB lamellae micromachining. It enables the...

Site-specific preparation of plan-view samples with large field of view for atomic resolution STEM and TEM studies of rapidly solidi...

The work describes application of a method for site-specific plan-view sample preparation for atomic column resolution scanning transmission and transmission electron microscopy (STEM and TEM) from freestanding thin films of multi-phase Al-alloys after laser irradiation induced rapid solidification (RS)...

Site-specific sample preparation by concentrated Ar ion milling for post-mortem atomic resolution imaging of rapidly solidified Al-C...

Rapid solidification (RS) is the rapid extraction of thermal energy during the transition from liquid at high temperature to solid at ambient temperature by electron and laser beams. RS of alloys results in the formation of metastable phases, refinement of primary and secondary products from solidification, and...

STEM-in-SEM highly deformed structure investigation with focus on electron-transparent specimen preparation

Many factors affect the outcome and effective spatial resolution of STEM-in-SEM analyses, such as the material density, material atomic number, electron beam voltage, detector type, and specimen preparation (especially specimen thickness and uniformity). The latter of these, specimen preparation, appears to be one...

Ultrathin specimen preparation by a low-energy Ar-ion milling method

The low-energy Ar-ion milling method was used to prepare ultrathin specimens for transmission electron microscope observation. The samples were thinned initially by a usual focused ion beam technique or typical Ar-ion milling with a high energy of 2 to 10 keV and were thinned additionally by an Ar-ion beam with...

Use of microanalysis to better understand the high-temperature corrosion behavior of chromium exposed to multi-oxidant environments

The corrosion behavior of metals and alloys at high temperatures in complex multioxidant environments is of a great interest for achieving extended service performances and improved operation efficiencies. In this basic study, the scaling reactions of pure chromium in several multi-oxidant gas mixtures were assessed.

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