A technique for improved focused ion beam milling of cryo-prepared life science specimens


M. F. Hayles. Tel: +31 (0) 610900030; e-mail: Mike.Hayles@fei.com


The combination of focused ion beam and scanning electron microscopy with a cryo-preparation/transfer system allows specimens to be milled at low temperatures. However, for biological specimens in particular, the quality of results is strongly dependent on correct preparation of the specimen surface. We demonstrate a method for deposition of a protective, planarizing surface layer onto a cryo-sample, enabling high-quality cross-sectioning using the ion beam and investigation of structures at the nanoscale.