Model 170 UltraSonic Disk Cutter

The Model 170 Ultrasonic Disk Cutter will quickly create disk, cylindrical, and rectangular TEM specimens from hard/brittle materials such as ceramics, semiconductors, and geological substances, without mechanical or thermal damage. It produces disk specimens from materials as thin as 10 µm, or cylindrical rods up to 10 mm long, from bulk samples or rectangular wafers that are subsequently used in the preparation of cross-section TEM specimens.

Optimized Ultrasonic Cutting

Wafers are produced by an ultrasonic technique that combines the oscillation of two lead zirconate titanate crystals at 26 kHz. The cutting medium is an abrasive slurry of either boron nitride or silicon carbide. This rapid cutting process minimizes specimen damage and yields high quality samples in just a few minutes. An automatic terminator stops cutting when the tool comes in contact with the specimen plate.

The cutting tool movement is caused by the excitation of lead zirconate titanate crystals oscillating at a frequency of 26 kHz. The cutting medium is an abrasive slurry of either boron nitride or silicon carbide. Tool motion is optimized to cut at the maximum rate while minimizing mechanical- and thermal-induced specimen damage.

Unique Design

It features a unique design where the specimen is always presented parallel to the cutting axis. Using the optional microscope will facilitate site-specific cutting by helping locate the area of interest. A dial indicator will accurately display the cutting tool depth. Once the specimen has been cut, the process will automatically terminate.

Constant-Force Stage

To produce specimens with a consistent diameter, the specimen stage applies constant force to advance the material parallel to the cutting tool, during the cutting process. It will also allow rods to be cored from bulk samples in just a few minutes. Rods up to 10 mm in length can be readily cored for subsequent cutting into 3 mm specimen disks. A rare earth magnetic coupling rigidly holds the specimen container to the stage to prevent damage that can occur if the specimen is allowed to move laterally in relation to the cutting tool. The resulting specimen is essentially free of both edge and surface damage.


The sample material is glued onto an aluminum specimen plate using a low-melting point polymer. Two thumbscrews rigidly attach the specimen plate to the specimen container, maintaining electrical continuity between the container and stage. An electrical continuity detector determines when the cutting process is complete. The cutting tool and ultrasonic transducer assembly are maintained at ground potential. A +0.8 VDC signal is placed on the specimen stage. When contact is made between the tool and the specimen plate, continuity is sensed and the process is automatically terminated. An override switch gives the user the option of continuing cutting even after continuity is sensed. When cutting conductive material, a specimen plate with an insulating layer on its surface is used to isolate the specimen from the termination signal.


  • Rectangular wafers for transmission electron microscopy cross-section (XTEM) specimens
  • Rapidly cuts disks, rods, or rectangular specimens
  • Disk specimens from materials as thin as 10 µm
  • Thin (>10 µm) or thick (<1 cm) specimens
  • Rods up to 10 mm long
  • 10 µm resolution depth indicator
  • Specimen is always parallel to the cutting axis
  • Minimal mechanical and thermal damage
  • Automatic termination
  • Precise sample positioning
  • Optional microscope attachment


Model 170 Ultrasonic Disk Cutter
Cutting tools Available in standard 2.3 mm and 3 mm diameters
and rectangular sizes of 2 x 3 mm and 4 x 5 mm
Dimensions (W x H x D) Without microscope: 5 x 15.1 x 10.5 in / 127 x 384 x 267 mm
With microscope: 9 x 15.1 x 10.5 in / 229 x 384 x 267 mm
Weight 15 lb. (6.8 kg)
Power Requirements 110/220 V AC, 50/60 Hz, 250 W
Warranty One Year
Optional Microscope Attachment
Magnification 40x
Position repeatability Greater than 10 µm

Model 170 Ultrasonic Disk Cutter Includes

  • (3 each) Titanium Tool; 3 mm Diameter Disk
  • (5 each) Copper Washer
  • (5 each) Specimen Plate
  • (1 each) Tool Wrench Assembly
  • (1 each) Specimen Container Assembly
  • (1 each) Syringe Assembly
  • (1 each) Disc Cutter Extender Kit

Optional Microscope Attachment

An optional microscope attachment for the ultrasonic cutting head helps locate the specific area of interest in the bulk material and enables site-specific cutting of the specimen. A simple alignment procedure adjusts the microscope's position in relation to the cutting tool. A precision mechanism establishes the angular positioning of the microscope and ultrasonic cutting head with a repeatability of better than 10 µm.


Cat # Description Pack Price Quote Quantity
Cat #: 55186 Description: Model 170 Ultrasonic Disk Cutter Pack: Each Price: $17,372.50 Add to Quote:
Cat #: 55186-01 Description: Microscope Attachment Assembly Pack: Each Price: $2,446.50 Add to Quote:
Cat #: 55186-02 Description: 10x10mm SS Square Cutting Tool Pack: Each Price: $1,933.50 Add to Quote: