This standard is only about 50 µm thick (about the diameter of a human hair) even at the thicker outer edge. It is held safely in place in a strong titanium grid, but if you touch the central silicon portion with your tweezers, the standard can shatter. Please be careful! Vacuum tweezers on the standard edge are recommended. If not available, use very fine regular tweezers VERY carefully and gently.
Fig. A: MAG*I*CAL® standard as shipped. Diameter of central perforation is ~ 0.1 mm
Fig. B: This standard was damaged by lack of care while handling with tweezers.
The MAG*I*CAL ™ Calibration Standard goes through a stringent quality control process during and after production which ensures that you will receive a high quality calibration standard. If you are having trouble making effective use of the MAG*I*CAL ™, please go through the following steps and determine the cause.
When the sample was sent, colors were visible (under an optional microscope) around the central perforation – ‘white’ (clear) nearest the hole, then yellow, orange, and increasingly deep shades of red (Fig A). Are these colors still visible? If they are, the sample is probably undamaged.
The central the hole should be roughly circular or oblong. If this is so, the sample is probably undamaged. If the central perforation has angular, jagged edges, the sample has been damaged but the useful calibration area may still be intact.
Have you look at the MAG*I*CAL ™ in the TEM? Did you carefully follow the instruction? Alignment is critical, and if you are not used to looking at the epoxy line where the two pieces of calibration material were epoxies together (see attached MAG *I* CAL .jog). The arrows point to the areas where the calibration-marks can be found.
There are four areas where the calibration-marks can be found. All you need is one! The extras are for redundancy. Move around the central perforation and find all four calibration-mark areas. You may need to adjust the sample tilt when you move over the epoxy line between the two pieces of calibration material. If none of the four areas are useful, the sample is damaged and should be returned.
If the sample was damaged by handling, (i.e., poking tweezers through it, fracturing it while removing it from the container, dropping it and having pieces fracture off, etc.) it will look like Fig. B. The sample is not returnable.