The Gatan Ilion+™ is a significant advance in the preparation of planar cross sections from difficult samples for microscopic imaging and microanalysis. The Ilion+ design is based on the proven GatanPIPS™ (Precision Ion Polishing System). This field proven, robust platform represents the industry standard in broad ion beam performance and reliability with thousands of units installed world-wide. The system is easy to install and operate allowing users to begin making samples quickly.
The revolution in nano-engineered materials is spawning new combinations of elements and compounds. Many of the new material combinations are either exotic phase mixtures (composites) or layered thin film structures (devices) that exploit the desired properties of the component nano-materials in ways that result in extraordinary products. To understand the spatial relationship and nano-structural arrangement of the component materials, researchers must view them at the molecular or atomic level using SPM, TEM, and SEM.
Increasingly, the combinations of exotic materials used in multi-phase and multi-layered thin films are not well suited to mechanical polishing or FIB milling. Soft materials tend to smear or become delaminated from the neighboring structure while hard or brittle materials fracture or shed particles into neighboring regions. The result is an unacceptable alteration of the true arrangement of the features. The same is true with composites where discreet grains or phases may be distorted by the shearing forces of polishing, effectively destroying critical spatial information and introducing chemical anomalies that affect subsequent EDX or surface analysis results.