Ion milling machine

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An ion milling machine.

Ion milling machine thins samples until they are transparent to electrons by firing ions (typically argon) at the surface from an angle and sputtering material from the surface. By making a sample electron transparent, it can be imaged and characterized in a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Ion beam milling may also be used for cross-section polishing prior to SEM analysis of materials that are difficult to prepare using mechanical polishing.

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