Cross Section Ion Beam Milling of Battery Components

A step by step preparation protocol of Lithium battery components including mechanical pre-treatment and ion beam polishing for high quality SEM analysis using Leica Microsystems EM TXP and EM TIC 3X.

SEM image of the full Li-NMC electrode sample, showing the two porous layers and the metal film at the center of the structure. Cross_Section_Ion_Beam_Milling_of_Battery_Components_teaser.jpg

Sample Preparation of Lithium battery systems requires high quality surface preparation to evaluate their internal structure and morphology. Due to the brittle materials involved, preparing pristine cross sections can be very challenging. Pure mechanical preparation alone will not be enough to allow high resolution SEM analysis of the battery. In this preparation protocol it is described how broad ion beam milling eliminates the artefacts from mechanical preparation resulting in high quality SEM images with a smooth defect-free surface of the sample.

Key Learnings

  • Learn how ion beam milling can be used as a critical preparation step for examination of Lithium batteries by Electron Microscopy.
  • A simple & fast approach for sample mounting
  • Efficient mechanical pre-treatment steps
  • The ion milling process and SEM analysis

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