A microscope is an optical system to create a magnified image of a subject. By using electrons instead of light much higher magnifications can be achieved. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) allows you to explore the internal structure of a thin (solid) specimen, where access is given to micro- and nanostructure details. High vacuum is the minimum requirement for the execution of electron microscopy.
Specimen preparation aspects of samples, composed of materials with very different properties, for cross-sectional TEM (XTEM) observation. Example: Dimple Grinding/Polishing and Argon ion milling as applied to a brittle magnetic thin film on a flexible plastic tape.
Large field-of-view XTEM analysis of piezoelectric material. Challenging or piece of a cake? In this example is shown how the method of Dimple Grinding/Polishing and Argon ion etching compares with Focused Ion Beam to prepare specimens composed of a very thick film of piezoelectric material, several micrometers thick, on an electrically non-conductive substrate.