In materials science, various techniques for three-dimensional reconstruction of microstructures have been applied successfully for decades, such as X-ray tomography and mechanical sectioning. However, in the last decade the family tree of methods has grown significantly. This is partly through advances in instrumentation. The introduction of the focused ion beam microscope and the transformation of transmission electron microscopy into a multipurpose analytical and structural tool have made major impacts. The main driving force for progress is perhaps the advent of nanotechnology with the need to achieve nanometer-scale resolution and the desire to get a real three-dimensional view of the nanoscale world.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(07)70304-8