The sample must be:

  • Solid
  • Stable under high vacuum
  • Coated with a thin layer of amorphous carbon (carbon coating). We recommend that the carbon coating to be performed in our lab
  • For WDS analysis, the top surface of the specimen should be perfectly flat and highly polished (final grit size < 1 µm)

Sample size and shape

Regular samples are polished round blocks/mounts/plates or thin sections of inorganic solids (e.g.  rocks, mineral concentrates, alloys, semiconductors, gems, glasses, bones, fossils, etc.).

The size and shape of the sample are constrained by the type of sample holders. Currently, our sample holders can accommodate:

  • Six to nine 1’’ (25.4 mm) diameter cylindrical blocks or plates. Minimum thickness is 2 mm; maximum thickness is 2 cm.
  • Two 1.25 ‘’ (31.75 mm) diameter of cylindrical blocks or plates
  • Four 1’’ x 1.8’’ (25.4 mm x 45 mm) thin sections. Maximum thickness of the slide: 0.05’’ or 1.2 mm.
  • Custom sized samples can also be accommodated. Check specifics of your sample size and shape with the Lab Manager.