Ion Beam Thinning
This technique is based on abrasion by ion bombardment. The interaction of an accelerated ion beam with the specimen causes removal of its surface atoms, thus leading to relief polishing and to suppression of the possible mechanical damages introduced during the preparation.
Ion beam thinning can be used to plane longitudinal, cross sections and to wedges. All types of compact single-phased or multiphased material can be ion thinned. Porous or divided materials must be impregnated or embedded beforehand.