It is well known that carbon present in scanning electron microscopes (SEM), Focused ion beam (FIB) systems and FIB-SEMs, causes imaging artefacts and influences the quality of TEM lamellae or structures fabricated in FIB-SEMs. The severity of such effects depends not only on the quantity of carbon present but also on its bonding state. Despite this, the presence of carbon and its bonding state is not regularly monitored in FIB-SEMs. Here we demonstrated that Secondary Electron Hyperspectral Imaging (SEHI) can be implemented in different FIB-SEMs (ThermoFisher Helios G4-CXe PFIB and Helios Nanolab G3 UC) and used to observe carbon built up/removal and bonding changes resulting from electron/ion beam exposure. As well as the ability to monitor, this study also showed the capability of Plasma FIB Xe exposure to remove carbon contamination from the surface of a Ti6246 alloy without the requirement of chemical surface treatments.

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