Polished sanding blocks of fibers, textiles, composite materials, ceramics, and so forth are manufactured for SEM examinations. The choice of preparation technique depends on the type of material. It requires much experience to process difficult materials, for example, ceramic fiber cross-sections with diameters of a few µm, and achieve a satisfactory result.
Creating thin sections or ultrathin sections for light microscopy or SEM (STEM detector) evaluation can be done via three different microtomes. This way, sections between 100 nm and approx. 20 µm can be produced. Selectively with cooling and various types of knives. Microtome sections allow the analysis of inner fiber structures, for example, coloring, pigmentation, structural failures, crystallinity, and so forth.
Microtomy sample preparation
The milling machine enables trimming (preparing) of material embeddings for microtomy.
Sample preparation / micro preparation
Preparation workspaces equipped with modern stereomicroscopes permit micro preparation.
Textile and fiber prints (replica)
Delicate surface structures like defects, deposits, oil-droplets, and faulty fabrics can often be determined with a (high contrast, low reflection) replica. Extensive imprints are created with the help of thermoplastic foils, smaller ones with specific adhesive and gelatin methods. Additional slanted contrast filling via vapor deposition can increase contrasting.
Cyro breaks and sections
We developed various techniques for the preparation of fibers, threads or composite materials with the use of liquid nitrogen to allow access to structural properties within the samples.
are prepared with the help of the stereomicroscope. For this, micro tools and various embedding chemicals are available.
Fat- and dust-free working, manufacturing of electrical conductivity and oriented test installation is a requirement for reliable SEM-samples to avoid imaging artifacts and sample movements. Available special procedures are:
- FIB Ion beam cutting agents, GA Ion beam within SEM (in situ)
- Ion etching of surfaces within the sputter
- Chemical etching of surfaces
- Various sputter and vaporization procedures (surface coating of samples)
- Fiber cross-sections and breaks
Development of accessories for specific microscopic problems
Depending on the task, preparation techniques and test setups must be adjusted. This way, for example, microscope tables, negative-molds for fiber embedding, and specific lighting equipment were manufactured for DITF needs.