the er-c
tem specimen preparation @ er-c

Preparation of samples with large transparent areas and flat surfaces is a key element of electron microscopy. In particular, the interpretation of lattice images is often limited by the sample's geometry and their surface roughness. These parameters are largely determined by a particular sample preparation procedure. The increasing demand for microscopes with a spatial resolution approaching or even well below 50 pm strains the need to improve preparation techniques. It is for this reason that an increasing body of the work at the ER-C is devoted to the development of reliable and specialized thinning techniques.

The centre provides services and support for sample preparation of TEM specimens. In total, three preparation rooms house equipment for procedures as cutting, mechanical polishing, ion milling, dry and wet etching and supporting optical microscopy. Samples can be fully prepared on-site or just finished off at the laboratories. Technical support and training is provided by staff members.

Microscopists planning to use these instruments should contact Maximilian Kruth, Doris Meertens or Wilma Sybertz.

Experimental equipment available for specimen preparation includes:

3 Ultrasonic Cleaners

2 Electro Polishers

2 Diamond Saws (Well)

1 Tripod Polisher (South Bay)

4 Polishers (Struers, ...)

3 Dimplers (Gatan)

2 Ultrasonic Cutters (Gatan)

3 Ion Duo Mills (Gatan)

4 Optical Stereo Microscopes

1 Pips System (Gatan)

2 Optical Microscopes

2 Low Voltage Ion Mill (BalTec)

1 Furnace for Annealing to 300°C

2 Plasma Cleaners (Binder & Fischione)

6 Fume and Powder Departures

1 Nanomill System (Fischione)

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