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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

2 | Attach the sample to a grid lying horizontally.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

Download the white paper to learn more about the use of femtosecond (fs) laser ablation for site-specific TEM sample preparation in a FIB-SEM. As a best-known method, the so-called Cut-to-ROI workflow was developed and is explained in detail.

Download the White Paper

Laser-Assisted TEM Sample Preparation

Learn more about ZEISS Crossbeam

Combine imaging and analytical performance of a high resolution field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM) with the processing ability of a next-generation focused ion beam (FIB).

Learn more about ZEISS Crossbeam

Questions?

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