Sample Preparation Equipment Documents

The new specimen preparation apparatus, the Cross Section Polisher (CP), utilizes a broad argon ion beam that eliminates problems associated with the conventional methods of specimen cross sectioning for SEM. The CP consists of a specimen chamber with a TMP vacuum system, an optical microscope for specimen positioning, and controllers for the vacuum system and a stationary ion beam.

The Cross Section Polisher (CP) is a new cross-section sample preparation device that addresses some of the issues involved with preparing very small and relatively soft specimens for SEM analysis. The CP can easily prepare a cross section that is hundreds of micrometers in width and can preserve nanometer-level fine structures.

The cross section polisher (CP), which is supported by the patented technology developed by JEOL, makes a cross section perpendicular to the surface of a specimen. This is suitable for measurement of multi-layered structures.

Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) have been used for various applications, such as research and development and failure analysis. There are many cases where not only observation of a specimen surface – but also observation of a cross section – is important. Preparation of a cross section depends on the specimen structure, observation purpose, and materials. Various preparation methods are put into practice: cutting, mechanical polishing, microtome, and FIB (Focused Ion Beam) are the major methods. In this discussion, we evaluate a new cross section specimen preparation method using an argon ion beam (hereinafter called the Cross-section Polishing or CP method). We have found that this method is extremely useful for observation of layer structures, interfaces, and crystalline structures of metals, ceramics, and composites. Here, we introduce examples of applications to various types of specimens.

A new precision argon ion beam cross section polisher simplifies the preparation of samples and makes it possible to prepare truly representative cross sections of samples free of artifacts and distortion. Use of the broad argon ion beam eliminates the problems associated with conventional polishing and allows for larger specimens to be prepared with precision.

Instrument overview, as seen in Microscopy Today.

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Other Resources

The following resources are available concerning Sample Preparation related instruments:

Image Gallery
  • View a selection of Cross Section Polisher images
  • Mixed Media
  • View our series of videos on the use of the Cross Section Polisher
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