In this paper we describe a novel method to prepare powder specimens for transmission electron microscopy examination. The powder samples are embedded in a metallic matrix by a route based on the plastic flow of a soft metal, using a small laboratory type hand driven hydraulic press. The resulting composites are processed with the conventional procedure based on grinding polishing and ion beam milling. The resulting TEM specimens have a self-supporting structure, good thermal and electrical conductivity while showing a well-polished surface resulting from the ion milling process. The method can be applied to a large variety of samples with sufficiently strong mechanical properties; a few examples are reported. The limits, mainly due to the mechanical toughness of the powder, are discussed. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Cell Biology