Microscopy Sample Preparation

Facility Type: Smaller or Individual Faculty Laboratory

We have everything you need when it comes to preparing your SEM or TEM samples that you wish to view. Whether you need to section slices of your material for making cross-section TEM samples, to polishing specimens with the slightest degree, or sputtering away material with an ion beam for the thinnest samples possible, we can help you with your goals and produce a quality sample for study.

Interactive Sample Prep Guide

Sample Prep Workshops have been offered in the past by Daniele Laub from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland. Daniele Laub is the co-author of a book entitled "Sample Preparation Guide for Transmission Electron Microscopy", (2010, Springer) and of an interactive website on TEM sample preparation website.

pdf Overview of Sample Prep Methods (5.14 MB)
The Tripod Method to Prepare Cross Sectional TEM Speciman

DSC02867a The Model 170 Ultrasonic Disk Cutter rapidly cuts transmission electron microscopy (TEM) specimens from hard, brittle materials without mechanical or thermal damage. It directly produces disk specimens from materials as thin as 10 microns, cylindrical rods up to 10mm long from bulk samples, or rectangular wafers that are subsequently used in the preparation of cross-section TEM (XTEM) specimens.
DSC02890a The MultiPrep™ System enables precise semi-automatic sample preparation of a wide range of materials for microscopic (optical, SEM, TEM, AFM, etc.) evaluation. Capabilities include parallel polishing, precise angle polishing, site-specific polishing or any combination thereof. It provides reproducible sample results by eliminating inconsistencies between users, regardless of their skill. The MultiPrep eliminates the need for hand-held polishing jigs, and ensures that only the sample makes contact with the abrasive. It maintains geometric orientation of the sample relative to the abrasive plane during polishing, allowing quantification of material removal; rate of polish can be monitored, and total amount removed can be preset.
DSC02901a The Model 650 Low Speed Diamond Wheel Saw is a compact, multipurpose, precision saw designed to cut a wide variety of materials with minimal subsurface damage. It's low speed makes it possible to cut fragile materials that would otherwise fracture and soft materials that would load the diamond wheel on a higher speed saw. A variety of sample holders provides a means for mounting any shape sample while goniometer adaptability simplifies cutting oriented crystals.
DSC02905a Ion milling is used on physical science specimens to reduce their thickness to electron transparency. Inert gas, typically argon, is ionized and then accelerated toward the specimen surface. By means of momentum transfer, the impinging ions sputter material from the specimen at a controlled rate. Liquid nitrogen cooling of the specimen stage is highly effective in eliminating heat-induced artifacts.