Broad ion beam milling for surface and cross-section polishing of samples for SEM imaging and characterization

High-quality observation and characterization of materials often require an artifact-free surface, which can be difficult to achieve with traditional polishing techniques like grinding or mechanical polishing.

The Thermo Scientific CleanMill Broad Ion Beam System is the complete ion beam polishing solution for SEM applications in materials science, enabling optimal imaging and analysis of materials where a pristine surface is required, including beam- and air-sensitive materials.

The CleanMill System is fully compatible with the Thermo Scientific CleanConnect Sample Transfer System, making it easy to quickly transfer samples between instruments while minimizing sample handling.

On-demand webinar: Introducing the CleanMill Broad Ion Beam System

Watch the launch of the Thermo Scientific CleanMill Broad Ion Beam System, which provides:

  • Advanced SEM sample preparation for traditional and air-sensitive materials
  • High throughput and consistent surface and cross-section preparation
  • CleanConnect compatibility and integration with the IGST workflow
  • A wide beam energy range and dedicated low-energy optics
Watch on-demand

CleanMill Broad Ion Beam System features


High-energy ion source

The ultra-high-energy ion source features a maximum accelerating voltage of 16 kV to rapidly mill and polish sample surfaces.

Ultra-fine surface polishing

The CleanMill System can be configured with an optional low-energy ion gun for final polishing of sample surfaces.

Wide acceleration voltage

The system delivers ion energy ranging from 2 kV to 16 kV and features dedicated optics for ultra-low-voltage polishing from 100 V to 2 kV.


CleanConnect System compatibility

Safely transfer samples from the CleanMill System to the microscope chamber using the Thermo Scientific IGST (inert gas sample transfer) Workflow to observe materials in their native states.

Real-time monitoring

The integrated touchscreen and high-resolution camera help you keep track of the broad ion beam milling process.

Cryogenic milling

The optional cryo-stage delivers LN2 cooling with automatic refilling for working with extremely beam-sensitive materials.

CleanMill Broad Ion Beam System specifications


Ion optics

  • Ultra-high-energy ion source with continuously and independently adjustable milling energy
    • 2 to 16 kV
    • Ion beam current range: 20 to 500 μA
    • Maximum sputter rate: >500 μm/hr
  • Optional low-energy source
    • 0.1 to 2kV
    • Ion beam current range: 10 to 80 μA
    • Automated ion source setup


Sample holders and maximum sample size:

  • Standard surface polishing sample holder
    • 30 mm (diameter) x 15 mm (height)
      CleanConnect System-compatible sample holders
  • Surface polishing
    • 28 mm (diameter) x 3 mm (height)
    • Interchangeable holder to allow 20.5 mm (diameter) x 8.5 mm (height)
  • Cross-section polishing
    • 90° slope: 10 mm x 10 mm x 3 mm

Imaging system

High-resolution CMOS camera with fixed 10x optical zoom and continuously adjustable digital zoom up to 120x magnification

Vacuum system

  • Oil-free diaphragm and turbomolecular pumps with Pirani and Penning vacuum gauges
  • Gas supply: high-purity argon with high-precision gas flow control

Sample stage

  • Sample tilt range: 0 to 180° in 0.1° steps
  • Sample rotation: 360° in-plane rotation
  • Sample oscillation: ±1° to ±180° in 1° steps

Computer control

  • Easy-to-use touchscreen graphical user interface (GUI)
    • System setup Milling parameter setting
    • Operation control
  • Touch GUI with Microsoft Windows 11

Related products

Complete your workflow with software and other CleanConnect-compatible Thermo Scientific instruments.

Focused Ion Beam Scanning Electron Microscopes

Instruments for automated structural analysis, TEM sample preparation, and nano-prototyping.

View product

Avizo Software

Qualitative and quantitative analysis of battery and energy storage materials using Avizo Software.

View product

Axia ChemiSEM

Flexible, easy-to-use SEM EDS instrument that offers instantaneous, quantitative elemental analysis.

View product

CleanConnect Sample Transfer Device

Protection for air-sensitive samples that uses inert argon gas and easily connects to multiple Thermo Scientific instruments.

View product

Apreo 2 SEM

Scanning electron microscope for versatile, high-performance materials imaging and analysis.

View product

Learn more about battery technology research

Read more about the IGST Workflow and browse products, techniques, and resources to support your work.

Learn more


Style Sheet for Global Design System
Style Sheet for Komodo Tabs
Style Sheet to change H2 style to p with em-h2-header class

Contact us

Electron microscopy services for
the materials science

To ensure optimal system performance, we provide you access to a world-class network of field service experts, technical support, and certified spare parts.

Style Sheet for Support and Service footer
Style Sheet for Fonts
Style Sheet for Cards