FIB stands for Focused Ion Bean Milling. In this technique, a tiny beam of highly energetic particles is used to cut and study materials which are smaller than 1/1000 of a human hair strand.
This revolutionary technique is an essential tool for a plethora of applications today. It is used in researching high performance alloys for nuclear applications, automotive applications and aerospace engineering; and for prototyping in micro-fluidics and micro-electronics.
Earlier, it was known that FIB leads to structural damage only within a fine top layer of the material being cut. A new research from the University of Oxford has proved this belief wrong.
A technique named coherent synchrotron X-ray diffraction was used to study the damaging effects of FIB. They found that FIB can be invasive, and dramatically change the structural identity of the material. The findings have been published in the Scientific Reports journal.
Moving forward, they will be spreading awareness on the damage caused by FIB, which has become a central part of the modern life. Further, the team will build on this research to understand how the damage is caused and how it can be eliminated, said Felix Hofmann, the lead-author..