Dedicated APT sample preparation

Powerful analysing techniques call for special sample preparation. At OCAS we prepare the needle-shaped "APT tips" using our in-house focused ion beam (FIB).

Using our in-house Focused Ion Beam (FIB) for nano/micro-machining, we have optimised our method to prepare the needle-shaped specimens – “APT tips” – at the appropriate region of interest of the test material.

To extract the specimen from a bulk sample, “trenches” are milled to cut out the region of interest. The tiny specimen is then extracted from the bulk by using a micro-manipulator and welded on a support post. By means of annular milling the nanoscale needle shaped specimen is sharpened step-by-step until ready for analysis by APT.

“Focused ion beam allows to ‘dig’ into the magnificent minute world to prepare nano-scale samples at the appropriate region of interest of the test material.”

Hui “Maggie” Shi, Research Engineer Materials Characterisation & Testing Department, OCAS