Find out more about the sample preparation process.


For SHRIMP analysis, samples must be prepared so that they can provide accurate analyses. In general the mounts are 25mm rounds. Samples must be polished and characterized through various types of imaging (visual, electron). Samples must be coated with a conductive material (typically gold, carbon) to avoid sample charging.

Ilmenite (FeTiO3) grains for oxygen isotope analysis.
Ilmenite (FeTiO3) grains for oxygen isotope analysis.


In geological SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry), the samples are typically polished mounts (thin sections, epoxy grains mounts) which are characterized by various forms of optical imaging (transmitted light, reflected light) and electron imaging (back scattered electrons, secondary electrons, cathodoluminescence). The standard mount for SHRIMP analysis is a 25 mm round disk that is held in a mount holder. This is placed in the sample lock and transferred to the sample rack in the source chamber.

Mounting samples


Sample preparation & microscopy facilities

A wide range of sample preparation and microscopy facilities are available at RSES to help users prepare their samples appropriately for analysis.