CMF UC 14 edited 2 1280x300



The Precision Ion Polishing System (PIPS) is used for thinning and/ or polishing of plan-view, cross-sectional ceramic or alloy samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. Since the ion polishing process is rather slow, it is important that the samples are pre-thinned less than 30 um by e.g. mechanical grinding and polishing or chemical polishing. The instrument is equipped with two Penning ion guns (PIGs) using argon (Ar) ions for polishing. The operating angles of the guns are ± 10°, and the standard accelerating voltage is 5.0 kV. The PIPS can only accept the standard shape of the sample with a 3 mm diameter disc.



  • Advantages:
    • It is a universal applications for TEM specimen preparation of Materials: Semiconductors, Ceramics, Metals and their combinations.
    • It is a dry etching process, using normally an inert gas.
    • The thinning process is more controllable.


  • Disadvantages:
    • It is a slow process. However for adequately pre-thinned specimens, this is not very important.
    • Artifacts formation. This is basically the case with any other thinning techniques.


Notes to user:

Samples must be mechanically polished till less than 30 um before ion milling.


Supplier information:



Please click here to download the equipment introduction poster.


Equipment location:

Room CF002