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Agar Scientific Announces Fischione’s New SEM Mill Sample Preparation Platform for Electron Microscopists

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As applications within electron microscopy become more challenging, the sample preparation process has to be rapid, accurate and reproducible. The New Model 1060 SEM Mill from Fischione is an excellent tool for creating the sample surface characteristics needed for SEM imaging and analysis. It incorporates two independently adjustable TrueFocus (patent pending) ion sources, automatic gas control and an oil-free vacuum system for ultra-clean processing.


The unit accommodates a wide range of sample sizes and configurations for applications such as bulk milling, electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and semiconductor preparation, together with traditional slope cutting and cross sectional polishing. The Model 1060 has a vacuum load lock for extremely rapid sample exchange. Once the sample is placed onto the stage, evacuation of the load lock occurs within a few seconds. Before milling, an automatic height sensing system provides feedback to a mechanical elevator so that the sample's top surface is properly aligned with respect to the ion beams. Tilt angles are continuously adjustable in the range from 0° to 10°. In addition to full sample rotation, the programmable rocking angle control is ideally suited for preparing cross-section samples.

Ion milling is used in the physical sciences to enhance the quality of the sample surface. Inert gas, typically argon, is ionised and then accelerated toward the sample. Two TrueFocus ion sources direct controlled-diameter ion beams to the sample regardless of energy. The unique design of the TrueFocus ion source allows adjustable beam diameters. When operated in the upper energy range (up to 6.0keV), milling is rapid, even at low angles. When operated at low energy (as low as 100eV), material is gradually sputtered from the sample without inducing artefacts.

The Model 1060 is modular in design allowing for basic instrument operation or fully automated control. The basic version is for users who require only primary level instrumentation function. The premium version adds full computer control for setting, operating, and recording a broad variety of instrument parameters. Ion milling is automatically terminated at the end of the programmed time.

A stereo microscope is available for the Model 1060 SEM Mill to enhance sample viewing. The microscope's long working distance allows the sample to be observed in situ while milling. The Model 1060 can also be configured with an imaging system including a high magnification microscope coupled to a CCD camera and video monitor to capture and display images.

The specifications of the Fischione Model 1060 SEM Mill are available to download from their website (http://www.fischione.com/products/model_1060.asp). For further details of Fischione’s sample preparation products and Agar’s complete range of accessories and consumables for microscopy, please ask for a copy of the latest catalogue and price list. To receive your free copy, please visit the Agar Website (www.agarscientific.com) and register today.