Novel applications of FIB-SEM-Based ToF-SIMS in atom probe tomography workflows

Rickard, W.D.A., Reddy, S.M., Saxey, D.W., Fougerouse, D., Daly, L. , Peterman, E., Timms, N., Cavosie, A.J. and Jourdan, F. (2020) Novel applications of FIB-SEM-Based ToF-SIMS in atom probe tomography workflows. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 26(4), pp. 750-757. (doi: 10.1017/S1431927620000136)

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Atom probe tomography (APT) is used to quantify atomic-scale elemental and isotopic compositional variations within a very small volume of material (typically <0.01 µm3). The small analytical volume ideally contains specific compositional or microstructural targets that can be placed within the context of the previously characterized surface in order to facilitate a correct interpretation of APT data. In this regard, careful targeting and preparation are paramount to ensure that the desired target, which is often smaller than 100 nm, is optimally located within the APT specimen. Needle-shaped specimens required for atom probe analysis are commonly prepared using a focused ion beam scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM). Here, we utilize FIB-SEM-based time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to illustrate a novel approach to targeting <100 nm compositional and isotopic variations that can be used for targeting regions of interest for subsequent lift-out and APT analysis. We present a new method for high-spatial resolution targeting of small features that involves using FIB-SEM-based electron deposition of platinum “buttons” prior to standard lift-out and sharpening procedures for atom probe specimen manufacture. In combination, FIB-ToF-SIMS analysis and application of the “button” method ensure that even the smallest APT targets can be successfully captured in extracted needles.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was conducted within the Geoscience Atom Probe Facility at Curtin University, which is part of the Advanced Resource Characterization Facility (ARCF). The ARCF, under the auspices of the National Resource Sciences Precinct (NRSP) – a collaboration between CSIRO, Curtin University, and The University of Western Australia – is supported by the Science and Industry Endowment Fund. A portion of this work was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) via their Australian Laureate Fellowship program to Prof. Phil A. Bland. DF acknowledges ARC funding DE190101307.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Daly, Dr Luke
Authors: Rickard, W.D.A., Reddy, S.M., Saxey, D.W., Fougerouse, D., Daly, L., Peterman, E., Timms, N., Cavosie, A.J., and Jourdan, F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Microscopy and Microanalysis
Publisher:Published for the Microscopy Society of America by Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1435-8115
Published Online:09 March 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Microscopy Society of America 2020
First Published:First published in Microscopy and Microanalysis 26(4):750-757
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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