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Instrument Description

Gatan PIPS-II is a user-friendly precision ion polisher designed to produce high-quality, transmission electron microscope (TEM) specimens with little to no ion beam damage with ion energy as low as 100 eV. Samples can be milled from currents ranging from 300 eV to 5 keV. Modulation of the ion beam can be controlled, focusing on milling in certain orientations in the sample. It can be used to remove the ion-damaged layers from the samples prepared by PIPS or focused ion beam (FIB) system. An optical camera can be used to monitor the milling process in real time. 


  • Preparation of TEM samples including irradiated fuels, transuranic bearing, and structural materials

  • TEM sample final polishing after dimple grinding or jet polishing.

  • Repair of thick region from the jet-polished samples.

  • Removal of ion-beam-damaged layer from PIPS or FIB processing.

  • Removal TEM sample surface contaminants or oxide layers.


  • Ion milling at beam incident angle of ± 10 degrees. Each gun is independently adjustable. Varied 3-10 degrees, top or bottom.

  • Ion milling energies from 300 eV to 5 keV

  • Modulated beam settings

  • Ion beam energy: 100 eV to 8.0 keV

  • Ion current density: 10 mA/cm2 at peak

  • Ion beam diameter: 350 µ FWHM at 5 keV to 800 µ FWHM at 5 keV broad beam guns

  • Sample size: 3 mm or 2.3 mm

  • Sample rotation: variable from 1 to 6 rpm

  • Optical microscope for real-time monitoring of ion milling

  • Chamber vacuum: 5E-6 torr base pressure, 8E-5 torr operating pressure

Instrument sample preparation area; Shielded optical microscopy vacuum testing chambers testing properties gross and isotopic gamma scanning; Instron remote load frame gas measurement and analysis accident condition simulator furnace extrusion; Metallic fuel line; Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative glovebox; Glovebox advance casting system furnace; Metallic fuel line; Metallic fuel line handling; Inert-radiological gloveboxes; Uranium handling repackaging glovebox; Transuranic breakout glovebox gamma irradiator surveillance glovebox line; Cell area Quanta 3D FEG dual-beam SEM FIB JSM-7000f SEM; Gatan precision etching and coating system; Gatan precision ion polishing systems II; Gatan precision ion polishing systems JEM 2010 STEM Cameca SX100R EPMA FEI QUANTA 3D FEG Titan ChemiSTEM FEG-STEM FEI Helios dual-beam SEM-plasma FIB diffraction; Micro X-ray diffractometer Di LemmaJEOL JSM-7000f SEM coupled plasma-mass spectrometer coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer; Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer coupled plasma-mass spectrometer advance casting system furnace; Hot uniaxial press furnace mass spectrometer; ELTRA CS-800; ELTRA ONH-2000 furnace; Differential scanning calorimeter; Simultaneous thermal analyzer; Pushrod dilatometer; Laser flash analyzer Separator Laboratories X-ray diffractometer; X-ray diffraction; Hot uniaxial press furnace
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