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Standard free thickness determination of thin TEM samples via backscatter electron image correlation

: Salzer, R.; Graff, A.; Simon, M.; Altmann, F.


Brewer, L.N. ; Microscopy Society of America; Microbeam Analysis Society; International Metallographic Society -IMS-:
Microscopy and microanalysis 2009. Proceedings : Microscopy Society of America 67th annual meeting, Microbeam Analysis Society 43rd annual meeting, International Metallographic Society 42nd annual meeting, Richmond, Virginia, July 26 - July 30, 2009
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009 (Microscopy and analysis 15.2009, Supplement 2)
Microscopy Society of America (Annual Meeting) <67, 2009, Richmond/Va.>
Microbeam Analysis Society (Annual Meeting) <43, 2009, Richmond/Va.>
International Metallographic Society (Annual Meeting) <42, 2009, Richmond/Va.>
Conference Paper, Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWM ()
thickness determination; TEM lamella preparation; MC simulation

Due to the ongoing progress in nanotechnology, high resolution TEM investigations become more and more important in structural and chemical material analyses. For such investigations the thickness of the TEM sample should be as thin as possible. The thickness of TEM samples prepared by focused ion beam (FIB) is about 50 to 100 nm. For light elements like silicon this might be sufficient for most of the analytical word. Due to the Z-dependence of the electron scattering it is also necessary to achieve even smaller thicknesses to perform TEM analyses at materials with high mass densities or high atomic numbers like Au or Pt. The difficulties to prepare plane-parallel lamellae with thicknesses of 10 to 50 nm by FIB are known. Common methods especially the FIB preparation do not have the abili ty to control the thickness precisely during the preparation process. Therefore, it is difficult or nearly impossible to stop the FIB sputtering process at the right target thickness.