Specimens examined by topographers range from that hardest of materials, diamond, to soft, plastic crystals such as molecular organic crystals, or dislocation-free high-purity copper crystals which must be picked up by both ends simultaneously or else they bend under their own weight. Sometimes the crystals are examined whole, and at other times accurate sections of particular orientations must be taken. In all cases the information within the crystal must be transferred to the X-ray beam without the introduction of artefacts before it is worth taking a topograph, let alone interpreting it. The extreme sensitivity of most X-ray topographic methods to surface and internal strains, and the low magnifications usually employed grossly complicates this task; thus, the slovenly methods adequate for preparation and handling of transmission electron microscope specimens will not do for X-rays. The familiarity with which one recognizes ‘technical terms’ from the literature, such as the apocryphal collection in Table 1, indicates how often even experienced topographers do not always excel in specimen preparation.
KeywordsBrittle Material Diamond Particle Transmission Electron Microscope Specimen Chemical Polish Damage Depth
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