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J Microsc. 2004 Jun;214(Pt 3):208-12.

Transmission electron microscopy of fluorapatite-gelatine composite particles prepared using focused ion beam milling.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany.


In this paper, synthetic fluorapatite-gelatine composite particles are prepared for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies using two methods based on focused ion beam (FIB) milling. TEM studies on the FIB-prepared specimens are compared with TEM observations on samples prepared using an ultramicrotome. The results show that ultramicrotome slicing causes significant cracking of the apatite, whereas the ion beam can be used to make high-quality, crack-free specimens with no apparent ion beam-induced damage. The TEM observations on the FIB-prepared samples confirm that the fluorapatite composite particles are composed of elongated, preferentially orientated grains and reveal that the grain boundaries contain many small interstices filled with an amorphous phase.

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