This page provides details of the requirements for sample preparation prior to analysis at the Electron Probe Microanalysis Facility
- Samples must be vacuum compatible and stable under electron bombardment.
- The operating vacuum is approximately 10 -5 Pa
- For quantitative analysis the specimens must be flat, well-polished and as free from surface voids as possible.
- Final polishing should use 0.25 micron abrasive
- Samples with porosity should be vacuum-impregnated with resin to fill void space
- Samples must be cohesive, so as not to shed particles whilst in the SX100
- Samples must be in a format compatible with the SX100 sample holders, which accomodate most standard formats. Permitted formats are:
- Thin sections: 45-48mm long, up to 25mm wide, 1mm thick with up to 0.5mm thick polished sample above the glass slide
- Disks: 25.5mm or 29.5mm diameter, thickness 5-25mm
- It may be possible to accommodate other formats - please discuss details with Chris Hayward
- Please use epoxy resin for sample preparation. Lakeside, Canada Balsam and styrene-based resins must not be used for preparation.
- Insulating samples need to be coated prior to analysis with a thin film of carbon. This is done at Edinburgh.
- Samples should arrive at the Facility two working days before the EPMA session for coating
- Samples must be cleaned after polishing to remove abrasive particles and lubricants. This can be done at Edinburgh if necessary.
- Other coating materials such as gold can be used if required, but please discuss this as far in advance of making a booking as possible.
Facilities exist at Edinburgh for users to prepare certain types of sample prior to EPMA analysis - please contact Chris Hayward to information.
Please discuss any queries related to sample preparation or format with Chris Hayward well in advance of your scheduled EPMA booking