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Sample treatment and preparation

This page gives an overview of the sample treatment and preparation facilities available in our group:

Heating and plasma treatment:

We have a tubular furnace with a fused silica tube (inner diameter 25 mm) and an AlN tube (inner diameter 12 mm). Temperatures up to 1100 °C are possible. With an attached roughing pump pressures down to 0,01 mbar can be achieved. Various pure gases can be let into the furnace, including nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, water vapour, helium, argon and methane. Other gas sources can be attached if needed. Mixtures of gases of various concentrations can be established by the use of mass flow controllers. The furnace is also equipped with an R.F. plasma generator perpendicular to the tube. An Ocean Optics HR4000 optical spectrometer allows online monitoring of the plasma components.

Cutting and polishing

A Struers Labotom-3 is available for cutting small pieces that fit into our analysis systems from large samples. High precision cutting can be done with a Struers Accutom-50 (accuracy 1 μm). For polishing a Struers LaboPol-4 is available.

Ball cratering

For evaluation of thick surface layers, samples can be ball cratered with a Teer Coatings BC1 ball crater equipment (polishing balls of three different sizes are available).

Glove box

For preparation of toxic samples, we have set up a glove box with a polishing machine and a ball crater equipment. It has been used successfully for several series of beryllium samples (verified by wipe samples).


After preparation, all samples are cleaned in an ultrasonic bath, usually in acetone (several solvents are available).