Sample Preparation Procedures
Before a sample can be observed with the SEM it is often necessary to subject the sample to additional processing steps to make the sample conductive, stable in a vacuum, stable under the electron beam, or to optimize the geometry between the sample surface, the electron beam and one (or more) of the detectors attached to the SEM.
Standard sizes of available sample holders are 12, 32, 57 and 76 mm in diameter. Samples should be sized to fit any of these holders and should be less than 50 mm tall. A vice holder is available for large irregularly shaped samples. A holder for standard petrographic thin-section samples is also available. Samples to be observed by CL, EBSD, have much more restrictive sample size requirements and users should consult with the laboratory manager prior to sample preparation for these techniques.