Abstract

In this paper, we describe automated FIB for TEM sample preparation using iFast software on a Helios 450HP dual-beam system. A robust iFast automation recipe needs to consider as many variables as possible in order to ensure consistent sample quality and high success rate. Variations mainly come from samples of different materials, structures, surface patterns, surface topography and surface charging. The recipe also needs to be user-friendly and provide high flexibility by allowing users to choose preferable working parameters for specific types of samples, such as: grounding, protective layer coating, milling steps, and final TEM lamella thickness/width. In addition to the iFast recipe, other practical factors affecting automation success rate are also discussed and highlighted.

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