eTraining Introduction

Specimen Preparation

Leica Ultracut UCT

Histology

JEOL JSM-6400 SEM

Hitachi S-4700 FE-SEM

Hitachi FB-2000A FIB

Microanalysis

Veeco Dim 3000 AFM

Fluorescence Microscopes

Support

Thin Sections

Procedure

These procedures are for those who already have flat specimens prepared. They are a modified version of the procedures stated in "Petrographic Methods of Examining Hardened Concrete: A Petrographic Manual," US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Publication No. FHWA-HRT-04-150, July 1006. See Chapter 5.3 THIN SECTIONS for much background information and procedural details.

Procedure by Karl Peterson.

First, you want to stabilize the surface of the specimen:

  1. Set flat face down in tray of Logitech IU30 vacuum impregnation chamber
  2. Pump down to a vacuum atmosphere
  3. Introduce fluorescent resin
  4. Release vacuum

Flat Specimen

Flat Specimen

Logitech IU30

Resin Injector

Before the resin is set:

  1. Remove from tray
  2. Press impregnated surface directly onto a transparency film to remove the excess resin, let cure on film

Resin Chamber

Resin Chamber

Impregnated Surface Down

Impregnated Surface Down

Transparency Films

Transparency Films

When the resin is cured:

  1. Peel off the sample from the transparency
  2. Grind off the excess cured resin around the edges
  3. Grind off veneer on the surface of the specimen, so that you reach the specimen’s actual face, where the pores are filled in by the resin.
  4. Glue the freshly ground face to a clear glass slide using clear epoxy resin

Resin Soaked Into Specimen

Resin Soaked Into Specimen

Veneer Ground Off

Veneer Ground Off

 

Glass Slides

Glass Slides

Glue to Glass Slide - Side View

Glue to Glass Slide - Side View

Glue to Glass Slide - Top View

Glue to Glass Slide - Top View

Cut off the bulk of the specimen with diamond saw, leaving only a ~mm thick layer bonded to the glass. This can be accomplished with:

1Reference book: Petrography of Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks, Anthony R. Philpotts, University of Connecticut, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1989.

2Birefringence chart example courtesy of Mineralogy Database.

You may choose to polish your sample, depending on your needs. This can be done by:

Now you have a flat, polished sample that can be mounted to a stub with carbon tape and coated to use in the electron microscope.

Prepared Thin Section Specimen 1

Prepared Thin Section Specimen 1

Specimen 1 Mounted

Specimen 1 Mounted

Prepared Thin Prepared Thin Section Specimen 2

Prepared Thin Section Specimen 2

Specimen 2 Mounted

Specimen 2 Mounted

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