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We have a new carbon coater. For the first month it run very well, but after that period it began to give us problems. Apparently the thickness of the carbon deposit is too much, as evidenced by the dark color of the thin sections (though they are still mirror-looking) and the low analytical totals (between 97 and 98% for a mineral which should give 100%). What puzzles us most is that we have been using always the same routine (the machine is automatic) and the same carbon rods. We have noticed that from time to time there is a sort of spark shower over the samples, and in those particular cases the coating is even worse, but we obtained bad results even in runs that did not show this.
We would appreciate any advice about what the problem could be and how to solve it.
Thanks in advance,
LAMARX - Universidad Nacional de Cordoba
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Electron Microprobe Lab, University of Minnesota
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