Focused Ion Beam-Based Specimen Preparation for Atom Probe Tomography

  • Lee, Ji Yeong ;
  • Ahn, Jae-Pyoung
  • Received : 2015.12.01
  • Accepted : 2015.12.16
  • Published : 2016.03.30


Currently, focused ion beams (FIB) are widely used for specimen preparation in atom probe tomography (APT), which is a three-dimensional and atomic-scale compositional analysis tool. Specimen preparation, in which a specific region of interest is identified and a sharp needle shape created, is the first step towards successful APT analysis. The FIB technique is a powerful tool for site-specific specimen preparation because it provides a lift-out technique and a controllable manipulation function. In this paper, we demonstrate a general procedure containing the crucial points of FIB-based specimen preparation. We introduce aluminum holders with moveable pin and an axial rotation manipulator for specimen handling, which are useful for flipping and rotating the specimen to present the backside and the perpendicular direction. We also describe specimen preparation methods for nanowires and nanopowders, using a pick-up method and an embedding method by epoxy resin, respectively.


Atom probe;Focused ion beams;Specimen preparation;Lift-out technique


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