January 4, 2017 at 1:43 pm #1613
At our inaugural user forum in March 2016, we presented a proposed protocol to reduce the incidence of water spots – an undesirable feature in images a few of you reported to us. We are happy to share that our modified cleaning protocol works well. Here’s how we did it:
• We added a cleaning step, with a separate platen set for cleaning after each polishing step. We used final A/Chem Cloth (Allied High Tech) that runs on the sample for 30-45s with deionized water to remove any debris. With dedicated polishing pads, and a final cleaning with DI water, we saw a significant improvement.
• The angle of incidence of the air nozzle to the sample also plays a part in efficient drying.We set the flat nozzle at an angle of about 67 degrees, and the round nozzle at about 23 degrees to the normal of the sample surface.
• If we still observed water stains after the above two steps, we added an ethanol rinse in the ultrasonic cleaner before drying.
We have validated this protocol over several samples in our services. These samples span a variety of material types and compositions, increasing our confidence in this protocol. Tell us how you solved this or similar issues, if you encountered them!
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