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October 2018

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JEOL-Focused Probe Users List <[log in to unmask]>
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Fri, 19 Oct 2018 08:28:15 -0700
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Hello all,

I'm seeking ideas for how to polish epoxy mounts of grains that are <20 
um, for EPMA.  The crystals I'm after are ~10 um or smaller.  Initial 
attempts with polishing cloths (on glass slabs) were unsuccessful as the 
<10 um grains were rounded and standing proud of the epoxy surface, 
likely due to the 'soft' polishing cloth.

I've had suggestions to use diamond pastes on manilla envelopes or silk, 
which have yielded flat finishes for others (unsure what grain size they 
were mounting and polishing).  I will attempt this, however I've also 
had other folks tell me that polishing anything below 20 um is not 
possible, at least certainly not without mechanical polishers, which I 
don't have.  The latter group includes people who study tephra and 
diamond inclusions by EPMA and SIMS, and are no strangers to very small 
grains.

Any experiences/tips/recommendations would be very gratefully received.

Kind regards,
-Rameses D'Souza
Postdoctoral fellow
University of Victoria

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