Cross-shaped markers for the preparation of site-specific transmission electron microscopy lamellae using focused ion beam techniques

O'Hanlon, T.J. and Bao, A. and Massabuau, F.C.-P. and Kappers, M.J. and Oliver, R.A. (2020) Cross-shaped markers for the preparation of site-specific transmission electron microscopy lamellae using focused ion beam techniques. Ultramicroscopy, 212. 112970. ISSN 0304-3991

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    Abstract

    We describe the use of a cross-shaped platinum marker deposited using electron-beam-induced deposition (EBID) in a focused ion beam – scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) system to facilitate site-specific preparation of a TEM foil containing a trench defect in an InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well structure. The defect feature is less than 100 nm wide at the surface. The marker is deposited prior to the deposition of a protective platinum strap (also by EBID) with the centre of the cross indicating the location of the feature of interest, while the arms of the square cross make an acute angle of 45° with the strap's long axis. During the ion-beam thinning process, the marker may be viewed in cross-section from both sides of the sample alternately, and the coming together of the features relating to the arms of the cross indicates increasing proximity to the feature of interest. Although this approach does allow increased precision in locating the region of interest during thinning, it also increases the time required to complete the sample preparation. Hence, this method is particularly well suited to directly correlated multi-microscopy investigations in previously characterised material where high yield and the precise location are more important than preparation time. In addition to TEM lamella preparation, this method could equally be useful for preparing site-specific atom probe tomography (APT) samples.