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Jeol Enhances SEM Sample Preparation

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New configuration of broad ion beam milling cross section polisher includes high-speed milling, sputter coating, cryo-preparation and air-isolated transfer

Jeol USA has introduced a new configuration of its broad ion beam milling instrument, the cross-section polisher (CP). The CP is widely used for preparing pristine samples prior to high resolution imaging and elemental analysis with the scanning electron microscope (SEM).

The upgraded configuration includes high-speed milling, sputter coating, cryo-preparation (down to LN2 temperature) and air-isolated transfer for atmosphere sensitive specimens (for example Li batteries).

Traditional mechanical preparation of specimen surfaces for SEM imaging can introduce various artifacts, such as scratches and embedded polishing media, that obscure the original microstructure, crystallographic information and precise layer thickness measurements. Broad ion beam polishing using the JEOL cross-section polisher (CP) offers pristine surface preparation with minimal artifacts.

The Jeol CP is a tabletop instrument suited for preparation of a variety of environment and beam sensitive materials, including metals, polymers, ceramics and composites.

The instrument offers the ability to mill large samples with wide area preparation (up to 8 mm wide cross-sections). It features the option to choose ion beam accelerating voltage of up to 10kV with up to 1.2 mm/hr milling rate. The system is easy to set up and can be programmed for high-speed processing and finishing of high-quality cross sections in a short period of time. Popular features such as intermittent milling (automated duty cycle for beam sensitive specimens) and fine milling (low voltage fine finish of specimen surfaces, ideally suited for techniques such as EBSD) are included in a standard configuration.

The CP polisher is equipped with a newly designed multi-purpose stage to fulfill increasingly diversified market needs and allow multi-functionality by utilizing a variety of specimen holders. Surface milling and polishing, cross-section polishing as well as carbon or metal sputter coating are now possible within one instrument, using specialized functional holders.

“Jeol has been a pioneer in the field of easy and accessible broad ion beam specimen preparation for SEM, with over 1900 units sold world wide,” says Natasha Erdman, SEM and Ion Beam product manager at Jeol USA. “We have been continuously improving the instrument to make it more versatile while providing a streamlined workflow for our customers. With inclusion of high-speed milling, cryo capabilities and air-isolated transfer Jeol is providing our customers with innovative tools to meet all their specimen preparation challenges.”



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