SIMS samples need to be flat and well polished. Relief must be at an
absolute minimum. They can be thin sections or grain mounts, but they
must fit within the 1 inch (2.5 cm) diameter SIMS sample holders. Sample
height should be less than 5 mm and a maximum of 12 mm. We routinely
uses Buehler Epothin® or EpoxiCure® epoxy resins and hardeners to make
sample mounts. Analysis areas or grains need to be near the center of
the thin-section or grain mount. Samples will be carbon or gold coated
and once in the SIMS, they will only be visible by reflected light.
Therefore, detailed sample maps at different scales are often required
(e.g., back-scattered electron images, transmitted light
photomicrographs). Please see examples of sample mounts below or refer
to papers in:
Fayek, M., 2009, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry in the Earth and
Planetary Sciences: Gleaning the Big Picture from a Small Spot.
Mineralogical Association of Canada, v. 41, 150 p.