Focused ion beam and scanning electron microscopy for 3D materials characterization
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
In this article, we review focused ion beam serial sectioning microscopy paired with analytical techniques, such as electron backscatter diffraction or x-ray energy-dispersive spectrometry, to study materials chemistry and structure in three dimensions. These three-dimensional microanalytical approaches have been greatly extended due to advances in software for both microscope control and data interpretation. Samples imaged with these techniques reveal structural features of materials that can be quantitatively characterized with rich chemical and crystallographic detail. We review these technological advances and the application areas that are benefitting. We also consider the challenges that remain for data collection, data processing, and visualization, which collectively limit the scale of these investigations. Further, we discuss recent innovations in quantitative analyses and numerical modeling that are being applied to microstructures illuminated by these techniques.