Sample Preparation Laboratory

Sample Preparation Laboratory

The Analysis  Group offers facilities for specimen preparation and a range of advanced instruments to perform surface- and bulk analysis on a variety of materials. From large format saws to small format dimple grinders, there are possibilities to create specimen that can be analysed. Cutting, (vacuum)casting, grinding, polishing, cleaning, control, coating are amongst the techniques we offer to make the best possible shapes for analysis.

Critical Point Dryer

Leica EM CPD 300

With a critical point dryer it is possible to dry water containing specimen in a way that they shrink almost conformal.

Advanced Plasma System

Gatan Solarus

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


Used to decrease the thickness of thin TEM samples. A mechanical wheel grind the thin specimen to a thickness of less than 1 um. After the use of this instrument, 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 specimen during the grinding and polishing proces.

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 specimen.

Leica M420

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


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. The smaller pieces can be cut again into even smaller pieces and if small enough they can be pressed into a sample that fits a SEM

Buehler Isomet low speed saw

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

Sample press

Struers Primopress

Small pieces of material that need to be grinded and polished can be pressed into conducting bakelite material of a size that is suitable to handle in the grinder/polisher equipment.The product wll have diameter of 1" and a height of 2-3 cm.

Grinder polisherS


variable speed

Buehler Phoenix Beta

variable speed grinder polisher

Labopol 21

Double grinder, single speed, 250 rpm, for manual preparation of materialographic specimens.


grinder-polisher for ultimate flatness and smoothness of SEM samples


Double grinder-polisher for grinding samples with sandpaper or carbide paper


Biorad Polaron Division E6


Gold / Carbon coater for the coverage of non conducting SEM specimen with a thin layer of conducting material. The sample size can be of the order of 5x5x5 cm.

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 be have sample size width. After cutting or stand alone a coating can be applied to the sample. Carbon / Chromium can be deposited on the samples with controlled layer thickness, down to Angstrom size. Includes a Film Thickness Monitor for accurate control of film thickness
The sample size can be around 1x1x1 cm.

Ultra sonic bath

Branson B200

Ultra sonic bath

For the cleaning of specimen 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 its way into holes and hidden cavities, loosening dirt on all surfaces that the solution touches. These actions, called cavitation occurs thousands of times per second to gently yet thoroughly scrub contaminations off the article being cleaned. When you lift the item out of the cleaner, it’s microscopically clean.

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