The Focused Ion Beam (FIB) tool has been successfully used as both a means to prepare site-specific TEM foils for subsequent analysis by TEM, as well as a stand-alone instrument for micromachining of materials. TEM foil preparation with FIB technique has drastically changed traditional TEM specimen preparation because it allows site-specific foil preparation. FIB consists of cutting electron transparent foils through Ga-ion milling on a bulk sample. Optical microscopy together with a micromanipulator is used to transfer the foil from the specimen to a TEM grid coated with a holey carbon support film. No further carbon coating is required. This novel technology offers significant benefits in precision and speed of preparing site-specific TEM foils from inclusions in minerals, grain boundaries, microfossils, thin films on substrates and various coatings. FIB cut TEM foils can be investigated with modern TEM techniques such as various diffraction techniques, analytical electron microscopy (AEM) including line scan and elemental mapping, electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) and high-resolution electron microscopy (HREM). With the FIB instrument (FEI FIB200) operated since fall 2002 at GFZ Potsdam we have prepared and investigated several hundreds of high quality TEM foils from silicates, carbonates, metals alloys, ceramic materials and diamond.

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