The combination of scanning electron microscope (SEM) and focused ion beam (FIB) makes it possible to specifically cut into material on the smallest scale (nanometer range) and directly image the material structure below the surface. This allows, for example, the precise localisation and chemical analysis (EDX) of local faults. This works for almost any material in a solid state, whether soft or extra hard, polymers, metals, ceramics, textile fibers, wood, etc.c.
The Focussed Ion Beam (FIB) device ”Cross-Beam 340” from Zeiss is used for the preparation of local cross sections and TEM lamellae. Equipment: Ga ion source (1-30keV), FE Schottky emitter, detectors: In-Lense, SE, BSE, STEM and EDX, micromanipulator, PtC precursor, variable pressure mode, plasma cleaner, large airlock.
Optical multilayers of alternating SiO2 and Ta2O5 layers. Below the surface, an overgrown Si particle of around 2 µm diameter can be seen.
Precision section through a particle of battery material Li(NiMnCo)O2 (NMC111) to show the internal pore structure.
In addition to cross-sections, TEM lamellae can also be prepared. These are wafer-thin slices cut vertically from the surface.
Transmission (Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy) achieves a particularly high resolution which makes the inner structure of the material visible, e.g. by means of crystal orientation contrast.
Serial sections through a local defect site. By means of serial sections, microscale 3D tomography of the microstructure is obtained.