Amorphous chromium films are useful for coating samples before electron microscopy. Our chromium sputtering tool provides very smooth, conformal coatings which are free of the grain structure found in more traditional films of Au or Au-Pd. SEM samples coated with chrome should be stored in an oxygen-free container to avoid oxidation of the film. Iridium also has a very small grain size, but the metal target is very expensive. We are pleased to offer chrome coating for SEM samples, at no extra charge.
A sputter coater for gold is located next to the chromium system. Gold is used as a resist coating for electron-beam lithography, and for charge dissipation with FIB, but is not a good choice for SEM samples.