Automated Cross-Sections, Polishing and Delayering for SEM / Optical Microscopy

The Gatan PECS II is a fully automated broad argon beam system for preparing cross-sections, polishing and delayering samples. Here’s an overview of how it can be used to prepare high quality, damage-free samples for SEM, optical microscopy and other analytical techniques.

Contact us if you’d like a demonstration using your samples, or to arrange a trial of the system!

Blue Scientific is the official Nordic distributor for Gatan in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. For more information or quotes, please get in touch.

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 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or


Cross-sections, Delayering, Polishing and Coating

The Gatan PECS II is a fully automated broad argon beam tool for cross-sectioning and delayering to prepare samples for SEM and optcial microscopy.

Two broad argon beams remove damage and polish surfaces, giving you high quality samples for:

TRIP steel prepared with the Gatan PECS II.
Courtesy of ICMMO, CNRS – University of Paris-Sud.

Application Areas

The PECS II can be used to prepare samples in a variety of fields:

  • Semiconductor devices and packages
  • Metals – including oxides and alloys – more info…
  • Permanent magnets
  • Layered structures
  • Ceramics
  • Natural resources
Y2Ti2O7 prepared with the Gatan PECS II (click to enlarge)


In the field of semiconductor devices and packages, the PECS II makes it easier to locate failures for SEM imaging and further analysis.

The sample does not react with the gas, so you can use EDS, EBSD and other imaging techniques to examine the surface and cross-section in the SEM accurately, being sure that what you’re seeing is a true representation.

  • Cross-section and delayer contrasting materials (such as those found in semiconductors) using recipes
  • Polish quickly and without damage, at voltages as low as 100 V


  • Polish, etch and/or coat samples without interrupting the vacuum
  • Etching at voltages as low as 100 V to prevent damage
  • Sputter a target material onto the surface to protect or minimise charging in a SEM/FIB
  • Samples up to 32mm diameter
  • Transfer samples to an SEM/FIB or glovebox without exposing them to air (optional)
  • Cool specimens with liquid nitrogen to eliminate artifacts such as oxidation and gallium migration
  • Digital zoom microscope to observe the process
  • Take optical images for correlation with other results, using Gatan’s DigitalMicrograph software
  • Integrated 10″ colour touchscreen for setting up parameters (no PC required)


Instrument specifications including milling angle, beam intensity and dimensions are available in the datasheet:


More Information

Blue Scientific is the official distributor for Gatan in the Nordic region. The range includes sample preparation equipment, TEM/SEM cameras, filters and imaging systems.

With a team located throughout the Nordic region, we’re available to provide quotes and help find the best system for your requirements – just get in touch:

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or

 Gatan range

Gatan PECS II EBSD Sample Prep Example
Zircaloy 2 sample: (A) PECS II polished SE image showing highly twinned grains. (B) Kikuchi pattern after PECS II polish. (C) EBSD Euler angle map. (D) IPFZ map. Courtesy of the University of Oxford.