The Leica EM TIC 3X features three saddle field ion sources located in one assembly. This is arranged perpendicular to the sample surface, so the sample (mounted on a holder) does not require an oscillating movement to reduce shadowing/curtaining effects. Also, it enables an efficient heat transfer from the sample. Three ion beams intersect at the center edge of the mask forming a milling sector of 100° cutting the exposed sample (~20 to 100 μm above the mask) until the area of interest is reached. A new design of the ion guns develops a milling rate of 150 μm/hour (Si 10kV, 3.0 mA, 50 μm from edge).
The unique triple ion beam system optimizes the cross-section quality and reduces working time with its ability to cut broad and deep at high speeds.
This unique technique produces a vast preparation area of > 4 x 1 mm at a very high material removal rate with a high quality finish.
For processing, each gun can be controlled and switched separately.This enables the user to set different gun parameters depending on the application, e.g. for contrast enhancement or gentle milling.