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Facility for TEM and site-specific sample preparation from hard materials


The facility offers a complete set of tools for the preparation of site specific and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) specimens from hard solid materials with the accuracy of target positioning at least 10 μm. It includes instruments for the preparation of flat-surface, thin-foil and section specimens by electric-discharge, mechanical and ultrasonic cutting, punching, mechanical parallel-surface and dimple grinding, and final electro-polishing or precision ion-milling to electron transparency. These are achieved by using a specific selection from the following instrument pool:

Gatan PIPS II Model 695

This is a legendary second-generation two-gun ion-polishing system for thin-foil specimen preparation. Each gun can operate at 0.1-8 keV with precise alignment in x-z directions and ±10° tilt angle. It is accomplished with a large variety of sample holders and a manual x-y stage shift control for the accurate positioning of target area. The system is also equipped with optional cold stage for polishing temperature-sensitive materials and a Digital Zoom microscope with a computer-control system from DigitalMicrograph environment for the in situ observation of sample and routines for the auto-termination of milling process.

Location: room M:2385

Struers TenuPol-5

This electro-polishing system allows obtaining electron-transparent specimens of 3 or 2.3 mm diameter. The specimen is polished from both sides simultaneously, and the process can be stopped automatically by the infrared detector. Determination of correct polishing voltage can be achieved through built-in scan function. Various recipes for the polishing procedures are available as built-in and user-devised methods.

Location: room M:2384-2385

Gatan PECS Model 682

This is a time-proven two-gun broad-beam ion-polishing system for cleaning/etching specimen surface with Ar ions. It can also be used for sputtering a thin conductive coat material on to a surface. The instrument features:

  • Two individual ion sources (ion energy 1-10KeV);
  • Uniform Etching area up to 25 mm dependent on ion gun energy and 15 mm in height;
  • Etching rate depends on a material, e.g. 10μm/hr for Si and 3μm/hr for W at 10.0keV;
  • Coating rate 0.5Å/sec for carbon and 1.5Å/sec for chromium at 10.0keV;
  • Target materials: Au, Au/Pt, Ag, C, SiO2, Cr, Ti, Al. Two targets externally selectable while under vacuum.

Location: room M:2385

Gatan Model 657

This 'Dimple Grinder II' is a precision instrument for producing circular dimples (spherical or flat-bottomed profile) in materials such as ceramics, semiconductors, metals, and combinations thereof. A final specimen thickness of <5 μm can routinely be produced by a careful operator. 

Location: room M:2385

Gatan Model 601

Ultrasonic cutter for 3 mm diameter foils from hard metals and brittle ceramics. Large variety of tools for other shape cuts, e.g. 2.3 mm diameter, 10 mm diameter, 10 mm square, are also available.

Location: room M:2385

Gatan Model 623

Specimen holder for accurate material removal by manual grinding. This disc grinder allows preparing parallel-surface foils up to 9 mm in diameter and the accuracy of thickness control down to 10 μm.

Location: room M:2385

Struers AccuStop-T with ASTEN tool

Tiltable specimen holder for accurate material removal by manual grinding. This disc grinder allows preparing parallel-surface foils up to 30 mm in diameter and the accuracy of thickness control down to 20 μm. Tilt screws in combination with measuring station allow precise ±2° tilt control for wedge-type specimen preparation. ASTEN tool allows work with 3 mm diameter foils without mounting.

Location: room M:2385

Gatan Model 659

Disc punch for 3 mm diameter foils from soft metals.

Location: room M:2385

Mitutoyo 293-100

Digital micrometer for the control of foil thickness with the accuracy down to 0.1 μm.

Location: room M:2385

Well 4240

Diamond wire saw for the extremely delicate cutting of any material softer than diamond. Large variety of sample holders, including 3-axis goniometer, are available for site-specific specimen preparation in virtually any orientation. Accuracy of specimen positioning is 10 μm. Available wire diameters are 0.13 mm, 0.22 mm and 0.30 mm.

Location: room M:2385

Struers Rotopol-22 combined with PdM-Force-20 and Multidoser

Semi-Automatic mechanical grinding/polishing system.

Location: room M:2384

Pace Technologies Penta-5000

System for manual mechanical grinding with water washing/cooling.

Location: room M:2384

VWR 7X7 CER 444-0581

Hotplate with ceramic top, heating up to 500°C.

Location: room M:2384

Struers Predopress

Hot-Mounting press for irregularly-shaped samples.

Location: room M:2384

Struers Epovac

Vacuum impregnation system for embedding and impregnation of powdered and porous materials.

Location: room M:2384

Struers Accutom-5

Automatic cut-off machine for precision cutting by blade saw.

Location: room M:2384

Instrument booking

Book an instrument or contact Prof. Dmytro Orlov for training and booking authorisation.

+46 46-222 9095

Page Manager: | 2021-05-15