Focused Ion Beam Lift-Out Geometry

Maja Koblar1,2, Antonio Iacomini1, Tadej Rojac1,2, Mojca Otoničar1,2
1Jožef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia; 2Jožef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia
The focused ion beam instrument (FIB) is widely used as a sample preparation technique for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). One of the main advantages over classical wedge polishing or dimpling is that only a small area is required (~0.0009 mm2) and this area can be precisely targeted with the spatial accuracy of the ion beam. For new materials currently being explored, FIB lift-out in plan view offers significant advantages over cross-sectionally FIB prepared samples, such as direct correlation of microscale morphology with atomic examination using TEM. It also proves to be a great tool for studying 2D samples that are challenging to prepare due to layer thickness.The possibility of preparing a site-specific sample will be presented using a promising lead-free piezoceramic material based on BiFeO3-BaTiO3 (BFO-BT) solid solution, where the core-shell structures of the heterogeneous composition are characterised by two different sample lift-outs using the Thermo Fisher Helios NanoLab NL-650 Dual Beam. The first method, the cross-sectional FIB lift-out method, in which the lamella is generated perpendicular to the sample surface, is the most commonly used method in microscopy. The second method is the plan-view FIB lift-out, where the lamella is parallel to the sample surface. In both cases, the geometry of the stage, ion beam, and micromanipulator is fully considered. The latter will be discussed in this contribution.

Maja Koblar - Jozef Stefan Institute