Cross section/broad beam ion polisher Leica EM TIC3X


Ondřej Man


Machine for polishing broad range of materialographic samples (metals, ceramics, plastics, organic species, composites of various types, porous materials) in cross-section or in planar polishing mode. Features three Ar ion guns displaced mutually by 45°, aiming at the same point, independently controllable. Three sample stages are available: one for ion milling in cross section, a rotary stage for planar polishing and a cryo stage for cross-section polishing of sensitive samples.




Ion source

Ion sourceTriple ion source, single controllable guns
Ion energy1 keV to 10 keV
Source current0.5 to 4.5 mA / 0.1 mA stepsize (per ion source)
Ion current density10 mA/cm² (per ion source)
Ion beam diameter (FWHM)0.8 mm (at 10 keV), 2.5 mm (at 2 keV)
GasArgon, minimal purity 99.999 % (Ar 5.0)

Sample stages

Cooling stage for cross section polishing
temperature rangefrom +30 to –150 °C ±5 °C
warm-up temperaturefrom +1 to +50 °C
sample sizeup to 25 × 20 mm x 5 mm (thick)
stage movementx-direction: ±5 mm; y: ±1 mm; z: 6 mm
Standard stage for cross section polishing
sample size
up to 50 × 50 mm x 5 to 10 mm (thick)
Mask position accuracy< ±2 μm
Cutting areaDepth > 1 mm, Width > 4 mm
stage movementx-direction: ±5 mm; y: ±1 mm; z: 6 mm
Rotary stage for planar polishing
max. sample sizeØ 38mm / 12mm thick
max. ion beam polished areaØ 25mm (for sample diameter of 25mm)
max. lateral movement settings
sample Ø 38mm+/- 3mm
sample Ø 35mm+/- 5mm
sample Ø 33mm+/- 6mm
sample Ø 30mm+/- 8mm
sample Ø 28mm+/- 9.5mm
sample Ø 25mm+/- 11.5mm
sample < Ø 20mm+/- 12.5mm
ion beam incident angle settings (1.5° increments)
sample Ø 38mm0° – 12°
sample Ø 35mm0° – 13°
sample Ø 33mm0° – 14°
sample Ø 30mm0° – 15°
sample Ø 28mm0° – 16°
sample Ø 25mm0° – 18°
sample Ø 23mm0° – 36°
sample < Ø 20mm0° – 48°
lateral speed setting0.1 – 2mm/s
rotation speed settingLow (~2rpm)
Medium (~6rpm)
High (~10rpm)