MSE 2016 - Full Program

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A flexible method for the preparation of thin film samples for in situ mechanical testing in the TEM

Wednesday (28.09.2016)
10:15 - 10:30
Part of:

A novel method was developed for the preparation of thin film micro-tensile specimens, which enables the target preparation and mechanical testing of individual microstructural defects. It is based on a combination of focused ion beam (FIB) milling and electron-beam-assisted etching with xenon difluoride precursor gas. In contrast to existing FIB-based preparation approaches, the area of interest is never exposed to ion beam irradiation and a pristine microstructure is preserved. This is achieved by the use of a special shadow milling geometry with a thin silicon membrane simultaneously serving as a substrate and protective layer for the thin film of interest.

The method was applied to prepare sub-micron sized tensile specimens from nanotwinned Cu-Al thin films, which were tested in situ in the TEM. Loading of the specimens was performed by a TEM Nanoindenter combined with a Push-to-Pull conversion device.

Depending on the relative orientation of the twin lamellae to the tensile direction, different deformation modes were observed, which will be discussed in the presentation.


M. Sc. Jan Philipp Liebig
Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Additional Authors:
  • Prof. Dr. Mathias Göken
    University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Dr. Benoit Merle
    University of Erlangen-Nuremberg