The Tripod Polisher® was designed by scientists at IBM, which is used to prepare accurately micro sizes of TEM and SEM samples. For TEM samples, the Tripod Polisher® has been used successfully to limit ion milling times to less than 15 minutes, and in some cases, has eliminated the need for ion milling. It can be used to prepare both plan-view and cross-sections from a variety of sample materials, such as ceramics, composites, metals and, geological specimens.
It is also used to delayer / deprocess semiconductor sample (thin top down). To get the best results with the tripod, ideally the sample should be <5 x 5 mm – otherwise, the process creates rounding which overpolish targets.
- Limited ion milling requirements reduce preferential thinning, radiation damage, and heating of the sample.
- No strong chemicals are used to prepare the specimen.
- The same sample can be studied with both SEM and TEM.
- Reduces sample preparation.
- Samples can be prepared for TEM without ion milling.
Tripod Polisher® Accessories
The Tripod Polisher® Base (#50116-05): holds the micrometer and has two captive screws that hold the L-Brackets or the Parallel Polishing Mount in position when polishing the samples.
The Precision Locking Micrometers (#50116-10): have special larger diameter locking rings for easy locking and are graduated in one micron increments with 13mm travel. Non-coating Micrometers also available, but not recommended.
The Delrin® Feet (#50116-15): are applied to the tip of each micrometer and are designed to protect the micrometer as well as the lapping from damage when polishing TEM samples.
Can be used with the Pyrex Insert for Wedge Polishing (#50116-60), the SEM Stub (#50116-65) or the Wedge Polishing Mount (#50116-61). It can be used for polishing the edge of the sample to the area of interest for SEM evaluation or for preparation to do the final wedge polishing for TEM.
The Slotted L-Bracket (#50116-30): With the Slotted L-Bracket the Pyrex Insert is held with a form fix clamp that is tightened with a single screw. The Inserts are held tightly with a good thermal contact for mounting samples when the L-Bracket is heated on a hot plate. When examining the mounted sample under a microscope it can be lit from the bottom as well as the side. It can also be used to polish the edge of the samples to the area of interest prior to polishing the wedge.
X-Section L-Bracket (#50116-31): is used to mechanically clamp a sample (such as an IC Package) on the side of an L-Bracket for optimal SEM cross sectioning.
The Parallel Polishing Mount (#50116-35): is mounted in the center of the Tripod Polisher(r) Base in place of the L-Bracket and is used for parallel polishing by adjusting the 3 micrometer feet.
The Planarizing Tool (#50116-40): is used to lap the three delrin® feet to be coplanar in preparation for preparing samples with Parallel Polishing Mount.
The Microscope Stand (#50116-55): is used to hold Model 590 Tripod Polisher(r) with sample facing up for viewing under a microscope or serve to protect the sample.
The Heater Block (#50116-50): is designed to hold any of the L-Brackets while they are being heated on a hot plate prior to mounting sample melted wax. This provides a slow, uniform temperature gradient, which minimizes thermal shock.
The Pyrex Insert for Wedge Polishing (#50116-60): is used with the Screw Clamp and Slotted L-Bracket for mounting sample for the TEM.
The Wedge Polishing Mount (#50116-61): includes a Wedge Polishing Clamp (#50116-62) and 5 of Pyrex Wedge Polishing Rod (#50116-63).
This holder is used for TEM Wedge Polishing and provides a small sample mounting area allowing for maximum adjustment range of the sample.
The Pyrex Wedge Polishing Rod (#50116-63): is a replacement part used with the model #50116-35 Wedge Polishing Mount.
The Pyrex Wedge Polishing Stub (#50116-64): is mounted to a Pyrex Insert (#50116-60) to produce a similar effect as is accomplished with the model #50116-61.
The SEM Stub (#50116-65): is used for mounting samples for SEM and can be transferred directly to the SEM or to the special holder for use in mil.
The Glass Leveling Slide (#50116-70): is used for leveling the 3 micrometer"s feet or 2 of the feet and the sample.
The Tool Kit: contains 2 hex drivers (#50116-71 & #50116-72) and torque handle for use with the Model 590 Tripod Polisher® in addition to wrench (#50116-73) for micrometer repair.