Cross Sectioning of CuSn Connector of a Solar Cell

Application Note for Leica EM TIC 3X - Industrial Manufacturing


Ion beam slope cutting is a method that can achieve flat cross sections of soft materials or material combinations consisting of hard and soft components. The CuSn connector is very soft. Mechanical polishing leads to smearing.

Cross section to see the layer structure and their interfaces.

Process Description
(benchmark values for this particular sample)
Mechanical pre-preparation with Leica EM TXP using 9 µm diamond lapping foil at 2600 rpm.

TIC 3X Parameters
Acceleration voltage7 kV
Gun current2.6 mA
Milling time6 h


  • The cut is very flat and clean
  • The grain structure of CU and Sn is clearly visible. The interface shows an intermediate layer and voids.

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