A grooved glass surface-plate for making a flat polished surface
© The Author(s) 2017
Received: 14 September 2016
Accepted: 8 December 2016
Published: 3 January 2017
To obtain a flat polished surface for microchemical analyses such as EPMA, SIMS, and ATR micro-FTIR, a glass plate with a grooved surface was developed for hand polishing with an abrasive film. It eases the polishing process by minimizing slipping or sticking, and results in negligible relief in the sample surface.
The flatness of the polished surface is important in the preparation of samples for microanalysis by techniques such as EPMA, SIMS, and ATR micro-FTIR, which are essential techniques in the quantitative analysis of geological samples. Conventional polishing techniques involve final buffing with a cloth, which leads to undesired relief that develops on the polished surface near the boundaries of relatively soft and hard materials, for example soft glass inclusions in hard quartz phenocrysts and hard glassy ash particles mounted in soft resin. While the unevenness is essential for the examination, identification, and textural interpretation of ore minerals using the reflected light microscope (Craig et al. 1981), such unevenness may interfere with successful analysis with either micro-FTIR spectroscopy (Lowenstern and Pitcher 2013) or the electron microprobe (e.g., Lengauer et al. 1997). The method of hand polishing described here uses a newly developed glass plate with a grooved surface that greatly aids in achievement of a flat polished surface.
Conventional polishing techniques
Grooved glass surface-plate
The grooves on a glass surface can be made by etching using dilute hydrofluoric acid on a masked float glass plate by a trained chemist. Shallow grooves can also be drilled into a hard metal such as bronze, in lieu of using glass. Plates with the listed specification are also available commercially from a Japanese dealer (Tsukuba-hikari-kagaku Co, Ltd; Product No. TH-025; FAX: +81-29-851-4696; WWW: http://t-h-k.jp).
I thank Dr. N. Hoang for help in making a prototype surface-plate, Dr. J. B. Lowenstern for encouragement and for reading an early draft of the manuscript, two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, and Prof. Nakagawa for handling this paper.
The present study was supported by the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) of Japan, who holds a patent relating to the content of the manuscript. The author has no competing financial interests or personal interests which may have impacted the interpretation of the presentation of this information. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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