Plasma cleaning of SEM/TEM Samples/Holders

Ultra-fine plasma cleaning of samples and sample holders for electron microscopy.

We have specific solutions for cleaning of TEM and REM samples and TEM sample holders with low pressure oxygen plasma. The cleaning process takes approximately 15 minutes and removes all organic elements such as grease, oil and carbon black. The sources of errors inside the REM and TEM are clearly reduced with oxygen plasma clean and the dwell time during the measurement with REM and TEM is significantly increased.

The operation of the plasma system is very simple. Normally oxygen is used as process gas but for oxidation sensitive parts hydrogen can be used. Dielectric samples have to be treated with a thin conductive layer to avoid charging. This layer is normally applied with simple plasma coating using a lab sputter coater.

For the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) the samples have to be treated with different kinds of processes until they have a thickness of max. 1 micron. This is commonly done with ion beam spark erosion.

Plasma technology was first applied to TEM and REM in the eighties to overcome difficulties associated with the detection of asbestos. In that specific application the carbon compounds are 'ashed' in so called plasma asher. After the plasma ashing the pure asbestos fibres become visible. The pure fibres are then easy to analyse with TEM and REM.

Plasma technology is also very useful for general polymer analysis. It is possible to uncover for example glassfibres and other inorganic fillers.

Also for failure analysis in ceramic technology, Si3N4 samples are first plasma etched prior to analysis.

We always apply the correct plasma treatment concept from TEM sample holder cleaning, asbestos ashing to ceramic Si3N4 etching.

SEM TEM Plasma Treatment

Plasma Clean TEM


Electron Microscopy

TEM sample holder cleaning

SEM sampe holder cleaning


  • asbestos 
  • polymers
  • ceramics

Electron Microscopy Sample Holder Cleaning:

We offer a range of application specific solutions for low pressure plasma cleaning and preparation of electron microscopy samples, including:

  • continuous power setting from 0-100%
  • dual gas inlet for oxygen and argon mixing
  • external feed of TEM sample holder
  • very simple touchscreen control


We offer free consultation, initial proof of concept treatment services and also rental units.

For additional information on these services, if you have any questions, or to request a quotation, please contact us.

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