In an ion-beam instrument, a beam of heavy ions, for example Ga or Ar, is used to bombard a target material, thereby sputtering atoms from the target surface. By tuning the energy of the ions or the ion current the sputtering process may be tailored to result in everything from fast material removal to gentle polishing of the surface. These processes are useful for e.g. exposing high quality cross sectional views of a material surface or for preparing samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis. The interaction between the ions and the surface also generates different signals that may be used for imaging and/or chemical analysis of the sample surface.
Chalmers Materials Analysis Laboratory has three Broad Ion-Beams
and two Focused Ion-Beams