Preparation technique

Many objects can be examined only after elaborate preparation by using light and scanning electron microscopy. DITF have gathered numerous years of experience and expertise in the sector of preparation processing. If required, DITF develop new preparation processes as well.

Grinding technology

Struers TegraPol11 wet-grinding device

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.


Leica Kryomikrotom with digital control

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

Reichert diamond milling machine

The milling machine enables trimming (preparing) of material embeddings for microtomy.

Sample preparation / micro preparation

Stereomicroscope for preparation

Preparation workspaces equipped with modern stereomicroscopes permit micro preparation.

Textile and fiber prints (replica)

Atlas Fabric Streak Analyzer

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

Cyro preparation of fibers

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.

Long-lasting samples

Long lasting samples

are prepared with the help of the stereomicroscope. For this, micro tools and various embedding chemicals are available.

REM-sample preparation

Sample coating in the argon plasma of a sputter

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

Object table (in-house design)

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.