How-to Videos

TEM Sample Preparation

Step-by-Step Workflow Videos

Watch the video series and learn how to prepare TEM samples with ZEISS Crossbeam, your FIB-SEM for high throughput 3D analysis and sample preparation. Navigate to the specimen's region of interest (ROI), prepare the sample and conduct liftout and thinning.

  • Standard Workflow
  • Planar View Workflow
  • Back Side Workflow
  • Cut-to-ROI Workflow

Standard Workflow

How to prepare a standard TEM sample

Watch the workflow video and see all steps of a standard TEM sample preparation workflow with a FIB-SEM: how to locate and protect the region of interest, chunk the sample, cut it out, and perform the lift-out step in situ.

Standard Workflow Steps

  • Step 1

    Locate the region of interest (ROI) and protect it by an electron beam induced deposition (EBID) and an ion beam induced deposition (IBID).

  • Step 2

    Chunk the sample, perform the cut-out step, and lift the sample in situ using a micromanipulator.

  • Step 3

    Transfer the chunk to a TEM grid and weld it to one of its posts.

  • Step 4

    Your sample is now prepared for TEM investigation. Typically, the lamella is now between 25-100 nm thick.

Planar View Workflow

How to prepare a TEM sample in planar view geometry

To prepare a TEM sample in planar view geometry, locate and protect the region of interest before you perform cutout and liftout. Attach the sample to a grid lying horizontally, then flip the grid from horizontal to upright position.

Planar View Workflow Steps

  • Step 1

    As in standard workflow, locate the region of interest (ROI) and protect it by an EBID and IBID, chunk the sample and perform cutout and liftout.

  • Step 2

    Attach the sample to a grid lying horizontally.

  • Step 3

    Flip the grid from horizontal to upright position. The sample is now ready for thinning.

  • Step 4

    The final result after thinning: The thinned area contains a thin slice across the gold (Au) island of the "chessy".

Back Side Workflow

How to prepare a TEM sample in back side geometry

To prepare a TEM sample in back side geometry, locate and protect the region of interest before you perform cutout and liftout. Attach the sample to a grid in upright position and perform various steps flipping and rotating the grid.

Back Side Workflow Steps

  • Step 1

    As in standard workflow, locate the region of interest (ROI) and protect it by an EBID and IBID, chunk the sample and perform cutout and liftout.

  • Step 2

    Transfer the sample to a TEM grid. Then, contrary to the planar view workflow, flip the grid from upright to horizontal position.

  • Step 3

    Pick up the sample again, rotate the grid 180 degrees and attach the sample to the TEM grid again. Flip the grid a second time, from horizontal to upright position.

  • Step 4

    The grid is now upright and the sample upside down. Thin the sample from the substrate side to get the final result.

Cut-to-ROI Workflow

How to prepare a TEM sample with laser assistance

To prepare a TEM sample from a deeply buried region of interest (ROI), a macro-lamella containing the ROI is prepared by a femtosecond laser (fs-laser) first. Then, the top of the macro-lamella is removed by FIB milling, so that the ROI can be accessed by FIB. After that, the sample can be prepared easily and lifted out for final FIB thinning.