It has been well documented that low energy plasmas can be used to reactively
etch or remove organic materials found on the surface of inorganic materials.
This technology has been used by the industrial community to clean semiconductor
wafers and optical materials for many years. A related technique is now
being implemented in the field of electron microscopy, where specimens can
become contaminated during the preparation process or from other sources.
Current analytical instruments use tightly focused, intense beams that create
carbon deposits on the specimen surface due to organic contamination. The
PC2000 is designed to simultaneously clean the specimen and specimen stage,
which minimizes, and in many cases, eliminates contamination of the specimen
being analyzed. The specimen holder and specimen are subjected to reactive
gas plasma prior to electron microscope analysis.