Cross-sectioning of urethane rubber by an Ar broad ion beam for SEM imaging
Mechanical cross sectioning with a microtome is widely used to prepare high polymer materials for SEM imaging. However, fine skills are required to manipulate the microtome for high molecular weight polymer materials having a relatively low level of hardness, A new cross sectioning technique has recently been proposed using a broad argon ion beam, proving its effectiveness for a variety of materials. The device, featuring an automated cross sectioning process, is easy to use and produces desired samples consistently. This technique, however, generates heat from irradiation during the milling process, and is therefore unfit for high molecular weight polymer materials with low heat resistance. We have designed a technique to eliminate the effect of heat, in which a sample is sandwiched between silicone plates for etching, and will discuss its effectiveness below.
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