The effect of the sample preparation method on the observation of amorphous structure in glass forming Cu-Zr, Cu-Zr-Ti and Cu-Zr-Ti-Ni alloys (Cu-Zr-based alloys) using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) has been investigated. The result shows that the selection of a proper sample preparation method is crucial in observing artifact-free amorphous microstructure, since Cu-Zr-based alloy is readily oxidized in air atmosphere. Electro-chemical thinning or electro-chemical thinning followed by ion milling causes oxide (Cu2O and CuO) contamination on the surface of the sample. Only low-energy ion milling with liquid nitrogen cooling can result in the observation of a fully amorphous structure. The exposure time of the thin foil sample in air before TEM examination should be minimized to observe the microstructure without contamination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering