Attachment Device for Dimple Grinder
Patent 14017/TUB

This Invention enables the preparation of wedge-shaped samples for the TEM with common lab equipment.

  1. Very large field of view, adjustable up to 2 mm
  2. One sample instead of random examination
  3. Wedge-shaped TEM samples without the need for additional ion milling
  4. Easy handling
  5. Using already available lab equipment like the common Gatan dimple grinder model no. 656
  6. No upscaling necessary
Possible Applications

Preparation of TEM specimen and also applicable to SEM measurements


Samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) should have a thickness of only a few nanometers to be penetrated by the electron beam. Therefore a special preparation of the samples is necessary. Dimple grinders are the most common and frequently used machines for the preparation of TEM samples. However, they are limited in their usage to the creation of samples with concave surfaces and a small limited sample area. In cases of inhomogeneous material, where the correct place of the sample to be investigated is hard to define, this would be of some disadvantage. It would thus be more desirable to prepare a bigger sample area, as it is the case with wedge-shaped samples. To prepare wedge-shaped samples separate (expensive) grinding and polishing machines are necessary.

Technical Description

It was thus the aim to develop a TEM preparation method that uses well known preparation steps with an apparatus available in nearly all laboratories, in certain cases even without the need of further ion milling and thus avoiding the formation of artefacts within the samples. Our additional preparation tool now enables to create such samples from various bulk materials. The rotary move¬ment of the dimple grinder will now be transmitted into translational motion. This backwards and forwards movement is essential to avoid the formation of grooves and to ensure a uniform and smooth removal of bulk material.

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Ina Krüger

Technology Transfer Manager

+49 (0)30 314-75916

Technology Readiness Level

Technology demonstrated in relevant environment

Property Rights

approved: DE, US

Patent Holder

Technische Universität Berlin

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