Proper sample preparation is the key to a successful sample analysis. For this reason, different preparation techniques for your samples are available at nanoAnalytics. These will be used as required after consultation with our customers.

Please contact us if you want to ask questions regarding a sample analysis or sample preparation.


A microtome is a cutting device, which allows you to create very thin slice preparations or flat cuts. It is used to produce microscopic preparations.

Typical application areas are especially soft samples and materials, such as in medicine and biology (histology), as well as the analysis of polymer samples. For the creation of sections different operating modes are available

At nanoAnalytics often the sliced sample is analyzed by atomic force microscopy or scanning electron microscopy.

Preparation of Cross sections

Cross sections are prepared to examine a layer structure, inclusions or the structure of a material. The sample is usually embedded into a resin and then prepared by grinding and polishing.

Target cross sections can be used to investigate small defects in or on samples. For example a defect inside a coating. The preparation is typically followed by a local sample analysis (e.g. SEM/EDS). This is often very usefull when identifying the root cause of such a defect.

Both types of preparations are at nanoAnalytics at your disposal.


Cryofracture is a comparable simple process to prepare a cross section of a material normally flexible at room temperature. To prepare a cryofracture the material is first cooled below its glass transition temperature by immersing it in liquid nitrogen. The sample gets stiff and can be broken. The breakline may then be examined under a microscope or with other analysis methods.

Incineration of Sample Material

Incineration causes the destruction of all organic substances in a sample by heating it under the influence of oxygen. This is done to determine the content and / or the composition of inorganic (mineral) fraction in the sample.

For this, the substance is heated in a crucible until the organic compounds are burned and only ash remains. The weight loss, the so-called ignition loss, corresponds to the organic portion of the substance, the remaining ash is the inorganic fraction.

The inorganic residue can be investigated furthermore with other analytical methods (e.g. EDS) with respect to its composition.

FIB cross section preparation

A Focused Ion Beam (FIB) instrument uses a finely focused ion beam to modify and image the sample of interest. FIB is chiefly used to create very precise cross sections of a sample for subsequent imaging via SEM, STEM or TEM. As a sample preparation tool, the FIB can accurately produce cross-sections of a sample that are impossible to create otherwise:

  • FIB-prepared sections are used extensively in SEM microscopy, often combined with EDS analysis.
  • It is an ideal tool for examining products with small, difficult-to-access features, such those found in the semiconductor industry and for sub-surface particle identification.
  • It is a good option for products that are hard to cross section, such as a soft polymer that is challenging to polish.
  • FIB analysis has revolutionized sample preparation for TEM samples, making it possible to identify sub-micron features and precisely prepare cross sections.

Do you have any questions?
Please contact us.

Guidance for the handling of sample material

nanoAnalytics provides a guideline for sampling, handling and packaging of samples to be investigated. This can not replace a personal consultation, but can give you a first indications what should be considered when sampling and how the samples can be delivered to nanoAnalytics so that the analysis results are not distorted by the  or handling of the sample material. If you are interested in further information please contact us.

nanoAnalytics sees the world through different eyes.

We provide not only data but to interpret the results in an analysis report to find together with you answers to your questions.

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