Sample Preparation

Sample preparation tools include equipment for gold or carbon coating, glow discharge, embedding and sectioning of soft materials and biological specimens, as well as a saw, grinder, and a variety of mechanical polishing wheels.

Users may be trained on sample preparation equipment or request full-service assistance from ARC-ISS staff. Some of these tools require users to provide consumable materials.

Please use the iLab Portal to request training or services and access the instrument calendars.

Denton Vacuum Desk II Gold Sputter Coater

At present we only have a gold target. Gold sputtering is possible with thicknesses ranging from approximately 5 nm to 50 nm in 5 nm increments. Gold films up to 30 nm are not continuous, but usually at a minimum of 10 nm are sufficiently conductive for SEM observations at magnifications up to 100,000X.

Carbon Coater

Samples may be coated by evaporating carbon, but the thickness is not controlled and can range from 10 to 200 nm depending on the experience of the user and a little bit of luck.

Pace Technologies PICO 155P Precision Cutter

Variable speed precision wafering saw for sectioning materials with extreme accuracy. The saw is useful for sectioning a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, and electronics. Samples should be thinner than about 0.5 cm.

Pace Technologies NANO 2000T Grinder-Polisher

Variable speed double wheel grinder-polisher with 8-10 in. wheels for different combinations of materials and polishing compounds.

Pace Technologies Giga-0900 Vibratory Polisher

With adjustable vibration frequency and voltage, the speed of polishing action can be controlled, allowing for large and small samples to be prepared separately or simultaneously.

Plasma Cleaner

Turbo pumped plasma cleaner specifically for electron microscope sample holders and some selective samples. Used to remove hydrocarbon surfaces and to modify TEM substrate surfaces. Oxygen and Argon gases are available. Users must be trained.

Reichert Ultracut E Ultramicrotome

Used to produce ultrathin and semithin sections of embedded materials for TEM and light microscopic examination.

LKB Glass Knife Breaker, Type 7801B

Makes glass knives for sectioning on the ultramicrotome.

Specimen Preparation Equipment

Available equipment in addition to that already listed includes glow discharge apparatus, embedding ovens, balances, centrifuge, vacuum pumps.

Please see our Rates webpage for pricing information.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

Scientific Staff:

Dr. Rebecca Miller: contact for services and training on the gold sputter coater; carbon coater; Pace Technologies cutter, grinder, and polishers.

Dr. Roy Geiss: contact for services and training on the Fishione 1070 NanoClean plasma cleaner.

Bradley Guilliams: contact for services and training on the ultramicrotome, glass knife breaker, and embedding equipment.