Platinum/Iridium/Gold Sputter Coater

Brand : Quorum
Model : Q150R S
Source : Platinum and Iridium

Sputter coating is the standard method for preparing non-conducting or poorly conducting specimens prior to observation in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Sputter coating scanning electron microscopy is a sputter deposition process to cover a specimen with a thin layer of conducting material, typically a metal, such as a gold/Iridium/platinum (Au/Ir/Pt) alloy. This process is enhanced in sputter coaters to be used Scanning Electron Microscopy where the objective is to provide an electrically conductive thin film representative of the specimen for viewing. Such films inhibit “charging”, reduce thermal damage, and enhance secondary electron emission. A conductive coating is needed to prevent charging of a specimen with an electron beam in conventional SEM mode (high vacuum, high voltage). While metal coatings are also useful for increasing signal to noise ratio (heavy metals are good secondary electron emitters), they are of inferior quality when X-ray spectroscopy is employed. For this reason, when using X-ray spectroscopy, a carbon coating is preferred.

    Sputtered metal coatings offer the following benefits for SEM samples:

  • Reduced microscope beam damage.
  • Increased thermal conduction.
  • Reduced sample charging (increased conduction).
  • Improved secondary electron emission.
  • Reduced beam penetration with improved edge resolution.
  • Protects beam sensitive specimens.

Increase in electrical conductivity of a sample is probably the single most common requirement for SEM. Low voltage SEM operation can still benefit in many cases from a thin coating.


Typical applications of different coating methods:

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    Biology SEM imaging

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    Material SEM image

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    Medical Research

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All enquiries please contact:


Diploma (UiTM) Industrial Chemistry

Email :
Contact Number : 03-8911 8512
Location : Level 3, i-CRIM Centralised Lab, Centre for Research and Instrumentation Management (CRIM), Research Complex UKM