Metallurgical Instrumentation for Sample Preparation and Testing

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The NMCF houses a suite of sample preparation equipment for Metallography and Electron Microscopy as listed below. These systems are located in the Materials Science Building (MSB). Sample preparation for SEM and TEM can also be done with our Helios FIB-SEM in Wilsdorf Hall. In addition, Rockwell, Vickers, and Knoop hardness testing equipment is available in MSB 142.

For information on rates click here.

  • Hitachi 4000 Ion Mill

    Flat & Cross Section Milling and Polishing

    CALENDAR | IM4000 Rates

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    Location: MSB 131

    The Hitachi IM4000 system is used as the final preparation step to obtain flat samples for SEM and for hardness testing. The IM4000 also allows preparation of large cross sections of samples by using specimen masks.

     

    IM4000 Technique Summary:

     
    • Up to 6 kV argon ion energy
    • Sample size up to 25mm x 50 mm
    • Stage movement op up 7 mm
    • Stage rotation during milling as well as tilting
    • Cross sectioning using a mask

     

    IM4000 Features:

     
    • Maximum milling rate of 20 micron per hour for spot milling of Si
    • Maximum milling rate of 2 micron per hour for flat milling of Si an an ara of 5 mm diameter
    • Maximum milling rate of 300 micron per hour for cross sections in Si

     

  • Gatan 691 Ion Mill

    Ion Mill for TEM Sample Preparation and Polishing (PIPS)

    CALENDAR | Gatan 691 Ion Mill Rates

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    Location: MSB 131

    The Gatan 691 PIPS system is used as the final preparation step for many types of TEM samples. 3 mm disks cut from bult materials or from embedded cross sections are thinned to less than 50 micron before argon ion milling in the FIB.

     

    PIPS Technique Summary:

     
    • Up to 6 kV argon ion energy
    • Rotating sample to provide uniform milling
    • Two ion guns for milling from top and from bottom
    • Adjustable beam tilt angles from 2 to 10 degrees incident angle
    • Ion milling at specific segments during sample rotation for directional ion milling and to protect the sample holder
    • Suited for conductive and non-conductive samples

     

    PIPS Features:

     
    • Cryo attachment with liquid nitrogen for sample cooling
    • Auto termination option when electron tranparency is reached
    • Optical microscope with digital camera to monitor ion milling progress
  • Henniker HPT-100 Plasma Cleaner

    Sample Cleaning with Argon, Argon/Oxygen, or Oxygen Plasma

    Utilize as needed | Plasma Cleaner Rates

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    Location: MSB 131

    The Henniker HPT100 Plasma Cleaner removes contamination from surfaces. In addition surfaces can be activated for improved adhesion using specific settings.

     

    Henniker Summary and Features:

     
    • Sample chamber has 100 mm diameter, 280 mm length
    • An attachment allows for plasma cleaning of TEM holders
    • Two gas inlets (currently argon and oxygen are installed)
    • Fully adjustable power, gas mixture and time
  • Technics Sputter Coater

    Sputter Coating with Au-Pd and Au

    Utilize as needed | Technics Sputter Coater Rates

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    Location: MSB 131

    The Technics coater allows sputter coating 30 nm of AuPd in 1 minute. We can coat a large sample up to 2" in diameter and up to 3/4" tall, or multiple SEM stubs at one time: 6x 1/2" stubs or 3x 1" stubs. Heat-sensitive samples can not be sputter coated with the Technics coater, instead, use the PECS system for sputter coating of heat-sensitive materials.

  • Gatan 682 Precision Etching and Coating System (PECS)

    Gatan PECS for Au-Pd, Pt, Cr, C and Silicon Dioxide Coating

    Utilize as needed | PECS Rates

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    Location: MSE 131

    The Gatan 682 PECS allows for etching of surfaces and for sputter coating of different materials. For non-conductive samples to be studied in SEM a conductive layer can be deposited with the PECS.

     

    PECS Technique Summary:

     
    • Up to 10 kV argon ion energy
    • Rotating and rocking of sample to provide uniform etching or coating
    • Two separately adjustable ion guns
    • Adjustable rocking angle and adjustable rocking and sample rotation speed
    • Suited for conductive and non-conductive samples
    • Suited for sputter coating of heat-sensitive samples

    PECS Features:

     
    • Available sputter coating targets: Au-Pd, Pt, Cr, C, SiO2
    • Additional coating targets are available from Ted-Pella
    • Samples up to 25 mm in diameter and 15 mm in height
  • Fischione Jet Thinner

    TEM Sample Electropolishing (3 mm diameter)

    Utilize as needed | Free for trained users. Bring own supplies

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    Location: MSB 131

    Fischione Model 110+140 Electro-Polisher for final thinning of metallic samples.

     

  • Struers Labotom 5 Cut-Off Saw

    Cut-Off Saw for Bulk Materials

    Utilize as needed | For trained users: $3/cut. Bring own supplies.

    Location: MSB 229

    Struers Labotom-5 manual cut-off saw.

  • Mager Cut-Off Saw

    Fine Cut-Off Saw

    Utilize as needed | Free for trained users. Bring own supplies.

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    Location: MSB 129

    Mager BR220 Precision Cut-Off Saw 8'' with 1/2" bore hole.

  • Polishing and Lapping Equipment

    Utilize as needed | For trained users. Bring own polishing supplies.

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    Location: MSB 129

    Room 129 in MSB houses four polishing and lapping wheels, three 8 inch wheels, one 12 inch wheel, and one 8 inch auto/manual polisher.

  • Fischione Model 150 Dimple Grinder

    Utilize as needed | For trained users. Bring own supplies.

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    Location: MSB 131

    Fischione Model 150 Dimple Grinder to reduce sample thickness in the center of a 3 mm disc for TEM.

  • Ultrasonic Disc Cutter

    Utilize as needed | For trained users. Bring own polishing supplies.

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    Location: MSB 131

    Fischione Model 170 Ultrasonic Disc Cutter for cutting 3 mm discs.

  • Rockwell Hardness Testing

    Utilize as needed | For trained users.

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    Location: MSB 142

    Wilson Model 4 Rockwell Hardness Tester.

  • Vickers Hardness Testing

    Utilize as needed | For trained users.

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    Location: MSB 142

    NMCF houses one manual Bühler Micromet 1600 Vickers hardness tester and one Bühler Micromet 5101 Vickers hardness tester with camera and set-up for Knoop testing.

  • Cressington Sputter Coater

    Sputter Coating with Au-Pd and Pt

    Utilize as needed | Cressington Sputter Coater Rates

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    Location: MSB 131

    The Cressington coater allows sputter coating 30 nm of AuPd in 1 minute. We can coat a large sample up to 2" in diameter and up to 1 1/4" tall, or multiple SEM stubs at one time: 10x 1/2" stubs or 5x 1" stubs. Heat-sensitive samples can be sputter coated at a large working distance with the Cressington coater.