Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) specimens are typically prepared using the focused ion beam (FIB) due to its site specificity, and fast and accurate thinning capabilities. However, TEM and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM) analysis may be limited due to the resulting FIB-induced artifacts. This work identifies FIB artifacts and presents the use of argon ion milling for the removal of FIB-induced damage for reproducible TEM specimen preparation of current and future fin field effect transistor (FinFET) technologies. Subsequently, high-quality and electron-transparent TEM specimens of less than 20 nm are obtained.

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