Materials specimen preparation

Materials specimen preparation equipment

Precision low-speed saw

With diamond metal bonded high concentration wafering blade.

This saw is suitable for general laboratory sectioning.

MetPrep 3 (Allied)

Auto/manual grinding/polishing machine suitable for polishing resin embedded samples to be used in SEM/EBSD systems. Embedding can be carried out at CAM.

We have a range of polishing/grinding cloths/papers available for different application needs.

Solarus Gatan Plasma Cleaner

The plasma cleaner is designed for cleaning TEM and SEM samples, and also the TEM holders and minimise hydrocarbon contamination during electron beam analysis. In particular, we have special ports for the JEOL2100F TEM holders and CM300 TEM holders. These special ports need to be removed for the cleaning of SEM samples and a suitable holder which can hold up to 25 stubs are also available.

There are three gases available for the cleaning of samples, O2, Ar and H2. Two particular combinations of gases are typically used for sample cleaning (1) Ar + Oplasma and (2) H2 and O2 plasma. In particular, TEM samples held on holey carbon grids are best cleaned using the O2/H2 recipe while the Ar/O2 is recommended for samples where a reducing environment such as H2 is not favourable.

For optimum STEM studies on the JEOL 2100F instrument, plasma cleaning is recommended for all samples within the sample holder. If your samples are sensitive, it is best to reduce the time. It will still increase the time you can analyse your samples without significant contamination especially under the intense FEG electron beam. Please optimise the plasma cleaning for your samples as it is materials dependent.

Leica TIC 3X Triple Ion Beam Cutter

The Leica TIC 3X Triple Ion Beam Cutter system is used for precise processing of samples for subsequent examination with an electron microscope or light microscope. For this purpose, a cross-section or ion beam polished surface of a sample is created with the TIC 3X.

The samples are processed with ion beams under vacuum. The system generates ions in the energy range from 1 keV to 10 keV. A wide range of samples can be processed in the TIC 3x depending on your application needs. These materials include semiconductors, metals, rocks, ceramics and polymers.

Leica TXP targetting and polishing tool

The Leica TXP is a target preparation system developed for cutting and polishing samples prior to examination by the SEM, TEM and LM techniques.

It is particularly useful when dealing with small and challenging specimens, making it easier to pinpoint and prepare barely visible targets. Sawing, milling grinding and polishing exactly to the target is performed during observation via a stereo microscope. The prepared surface can be observed without removing the sample.

The TXP is a preparation unit with variable speed from 300 to 20 000 rpm, with an integrated stereo microscope and ring LED illuminator. A pivot arm and adjustment assembly holds the specimen carrier for alignment during processing. It can be used with either milling tools, cut-off wheel or polishing tools. The 90° rotation view allows distance definition i.e. from the front face of the sample.


Both the JEOL 2100F and the CM300 are equipped with negative film cameras. CAM has a darkroom suitable for processing these negatives.

The format size is 10.2mm x 8.3mm.