TEM Sample Preparation
For transmission electron microscopy investigations, samples have to be trimmed down to a size of typically 3 milimeter in diameter and tenth or hundres of nanometer in thickness. Moreover, the sample has to withstand the vacuum condition inside the TEM.
For high resolution studies of crystalline materials, the sample needs to be prepared with respect to a certain crystallographic orientation and be thinned down to a thickness below 20 nanometer.
The center has the following equipment to do these preparations almost routinely:
- Baltec RES100 and Gatan model 600 dual ion mills, two Gatan precision ion processing systems (PIPS, model 691)
- Tenupol-3 (Struers) dual-jet electrochemical polishing device
- Leica EMFCS cryo-ultramicrotome positioned in a glove box so that air sensitive materials can be prepared
- specimen manipulation system, developed by the Centre, that can be used for handling specimens under controlled atmosphere and for specimen treatments like heating and gas reactions. Specimens can be mounted on a special specimen holder and can be transported to the microscope without exposing it to air. The system is accessible for specimens from other laboratories with a vacuum suitcase.
- access to a Dual Beam, FIB/SEM combination, FEI strata DB 235
If you have question on the usage of these instruments, Tom can probably help.
TEM Sample Holders
The centre has a wide range of sample holders for special studies, a lot of which were developed by the centre. Examples include
- single, double, high and rotation tilt holders
- low background holders for EDX studies
- straining, warming, cooling and vacuum transfer holders
- nano reactors for chemical studies