Category Archives: Broad beam ion milling

Materials Characterization Seminar

posted February 2018

Neal Hanke, P.E.

Dieter Scholz

Senior Scientist, Dieter Scholz and Materials Engineer, Neal Hanke will be speaking at the Minnesota chapter of ASM 2018 seminar in Brooklyn Park, MN on February 28. The Materials Characterization Seminar is an opportunity to learn about the most recent developments in advanced characterization techniques and their practical applications.

Dieter will be speaking on Broad Beam Ion Milling in Sample Preparation and Neal’s presentation is on the Determination of Nitinol Transformation Temperatures by the Bend and Free Recovery Method.

Technical Paper Published

posted December 2016

“Broad Beam Ion Milling for Microstructure Characterization,”  a technical paper authored by MEE staff Larry Hanke, Kurt Schenk and Dieter Scholz, was recently published in the online version of Materials Performance and Characterization.  An abstract of the article is available on the ASTM International digital library site.

Ion beam milling is a unique method of sample preparation that complements and significantly extends the capabilities of the traditional microscopy and metallographic laboratories. Our online Handbook of Analytical Methods for Materials (HAMM) offers basic explanations, typical applications and sample requirements for Ion Milling.

Last week, Larry Hanke presented a paper co-authored with Dieter Scholz at the 2015 Microscopy Society of America (MSA) annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. The presentation, Microstructure Enhancement Using Ion Beam Milling, was based on work done in our laboratory preparing challenging samples for microscopic evaluation.

These images show a gold ball bond on an integrated circuit. In the top image we see the sample after it was mechanically prepared/polished. The next image was taken after the sample was ion milled.

- As polished

– As polished

 - Ion Milled

– Ion Milled

Microscopic inspection for device quality assurance, failure analysis, and materials characterization relies on optimum sample preparation to produce accurate and useful data. Good sample preparation for medical devices, semiconductors, microelectronics, and nano-materials has become more challenging in recent years due to high-technology materials, complex assemblies, and smaller components. Although mechanical cross sectioning, polishing, and chemical etching are sufficient for many applications, ion beam milling provides an additional level of quality and clarity for critical and difficult-to-prepare samples.

Broad-Beam Ion Milling

posted June 2015

Senior Scientist, Dieter Scholz, spent a day at the SMTA (Surface Mount Technology Association) 2015 Midwest Expo talking with attendees about the advantages of the Broad-Beam Ion Milling. Ion Beam Milling provides an additional level of quality and clarity for critical and difficult-to-prepare samples. It is particularly useful for cross sections of semi-conductor devices, sectioning of soft materials or soft-hard material combinations or materials difficult to chemically etch.

Dieter and Larry Hanke will be presenting a paper,  Microstructure Enhancement Using Ion Beam Milling, at the Microscopy and Microanalysis 2015 Meeting in Portland OR in August.

Contact us or visit our website for more information on Broad-Beam Ion Milling.


ion mill booth