Author Topic: Using Crystalbond mounting in low-vacuum systems (environmental SEM)  (Read 1442 times)


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Hi all,

This is more of a SEM question, but there is a lot of EPMA-SEM cross-over knowledge in this forum, so here goes:

Does anyone have experience with successfully using Crystalbond mounting material in low-vacuum settings in an environmental SEM?

The melting point of the nice optically-clear Crystalbond (509-3) is ~120 C, which I think will be fine for the sample chamber temperatures. However, my experience in the past of testing out a Crystalbond-mounted sample in a standard high-vacuum SEM environment (sorry, I don't recall what the actually pressure was) was that the Cyrstalbond vesiculated and substantially puffed up all around the mounted sample. I assume this wasn't particularly great for the instrument (some material likely volatilized) or for a stable sample position during analysis.

BUT, I am wondering if the vesiculation issue would be avoided in lower-vacuum environmental SEM chambers. Does anyone have experience with this? It would be quite nice to be able to image and analyzed samples with EDS when in Crystalbond, so am hoping that enivronmental SEMs might be my ticket!