UTMESA+ InstituteNanolabAnalysisPreparation Facilities

Sample Preparation Laboratory

The Analysis Group offers facilities for specimen preparation for imaging, analysis and FIB handling

From large-format saws to small-format dimple grinders, there are possibilities to create specimens that can be analysed. Cutting, (vacuum)casting, grinding, polishing, cleaning, control, coating are amongst the techniques we offer to make the best possible sample conditions.

CRITICAL POINT DRYER

LEICA EM CPD 300
With a critical point dryer, it is possible to dry water containing specimens in a way that they shrink almost conformal.

ADVANCED PLASMA SYSTEM

Gatan Solaris
Advanced plasma cleaning system for removal of hydrocarbon contamination on TEM and SEM samples. Cleaning small specimen for TEM or SEM use by a low energy H2 / O2 plasma.

DIMPLE GRINDER

Gatan
Used to decrease the thickness of thin TEM samples. A mechanical wheel grinds the thin specimen to a thickness of less than 1 um. Afterwards, the ultimate thinning of the TEM specimen takes place in the precision ion polishing system.

OPTICAL MICROSCOPES

Leitz metalloplan
This wide-field microscope is used to control specimens during the grinding and polishing process.

Olympus SZ40
Optical microscope with zoom objective lens 6.7 - 40x for sample inspection purposes. A ring light Olympus highlight 3100 accompanies the microscope objective. Used to view rather large specimens.

Leica M420
Macroscope for high-precision work in inspection and measurement, equipped with a camera.

SAWS

Buehler Isomet
Low speed saw. Used to slice down bigger pieces of materials to quite small ones that can be used to make TEM specimens.

Struers Labotom 3
Rough cutting saw. Saw to cut small pieces out of a big piece of material. Metals of a thickness of 1 - 2 cm can be cut into smaller pieces. If the pieces are small enough they can be pressed into an SEM.

SAMPLE PRESS

Struers Primopress
Used to slice down bigger pieces of materials to quite small ones that can be used to make TEM specimens.

GRINDER POLISHERS

Buehler ecomet 3
Variable speed.

Buehler Phoemix beta
Variable speed grinder polisher.

Struers Labopol 21
Double grinder, single-speed, 250 rpm, for manual preparation of materialographic specimens.

Struers Tegrapol 21
Grinder-polisher for ultimate flatness and smoothness of SEM samples.

Knuth-rotor 2
Double grinder-polisher for grinding samples with sandpaper or carbide paper.

COATERS

BIORAD POLARON division e6
Double grinder-polisher for grinding samples with sandpaper or carbide paper.

Gatan pecs
Precision Etching and Coating System. This system is used to etch or slope cut a specimen. Just like a cut that is possible with a FIB. Only this cut will have a sample size width. After cutting or stand-alone a coating can be applied to the sample.

ULTRA SONIC BATH

Branson B200
For the cleaning of specimens or small instruments. The cleaner uses ultrasonic energy (40 kHz) in the form of sound waves to create millions of tiny microscopic bubbles in the solution that even works their way into holes and hidden cavities.

You can find the sample preparation facilities in NanoLab NL1.027