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TEM Sample Preparation Tips

When preparing samples for the transmission electron microscope (TEM), obtaining samples of uniform thinness (from 10-200 nm) is critical. There are a few different sample geometries, the most common of which is thin foils, or lamellae. A broad literature exists on the exact methods and some of the tradeoffs around creating lamellae. Mayer, Giannuzi, et al. (2007, MRS Bulletin) detail many of the more intricate decisions. Extensive literature and application notes exist, and it is not the goal of this work to describe this literature in detail. Rather than a detailed primer on step-by-step lamella creation, this document offers an overview of tips, tricks, and standards for the advanced practitioner.

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