How we prepare thin films for electronics, semiconductors and biological materials.

Cross Sectioning & Slope Cutting with Ion Milling

Delicate materials in Electronics, semiconductors, and biological materials, and thin films used in any application can easily be damaged by mechanical cutting.  Mounting required before cutting can also present a problem with the positioning of the sample, and the resulting cross section may not be perfectly perpendicular.  For cases of thin films, this can greatly reduce the quality of the data acquired.

Thin films

Films thicker than 1 micron and typically be metallorgraphically prepared and cross-sectioned when the steps are performed meticulously.  Properly mounting the samples can still be a challenge as the sample can become displaced by the flow of epoxy.

Argon ion milling eliminates the need for epoxy-based mounting.  We have more control of the sample, and a motorized stage assists in perfect alignments.

For thin films less than 1 micron thick, ion milling is required in most cases to avoid damaged to the film.

  • 90-degree cross sectioning through tens of layers
  • Low energy option to produce clean surfaces without damage
  • Able to produce multiple cuts on same sample to increase efficiency


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