Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take before I have the analysis results?

What kind of samples can be analysed?

What should I be aware of when I choose and prepare the samples?

How should I pack the samples for shipping?

What information should accompany the samples?

 


How long will it take before I have the analysis results?

The time necessary for finishing a job depends on the type and extent of the analysis that is needed. In about 90% of the cases, we have the first results at the latest 3 working days after receipt of the samples. Then, someone from our staff can contact you by phone or e-mail with the preliminary results. A written report with a detailed data evaluation will usually be available within one week after finishing the measurements. Expedited services are available on request.

What kind of samples can be analysed?

In principle, it is possible to do a chemical characterisation of all surfaces that are vacuum compatible. These can be flat solid surfaces, powders or liquids. This is also the case for insulating materials. Volatile samples may be cooled for an analysis.
Depending on the method used, it may be necessary for topographical analysis to have a conductive surface. If that is the case, a conducting layer can be deposited through preparation techniques.

What should I be aware of when I choose and prepare the samples?

When taking the samples, it is important that the surface that will be analysed is not contaminated by tools, liquids or hands. In case you would need to cut the sample from a larger area, it may be helpful to cover this larger area with clean filter paper or household aluminium foil while cutting the sample.

How should I pack the samples for shipping?

Depending on the sample and the analytical question, different types of packaging may be used. Powder or dust samples, as well as liquids can be shipped in clean laboratory glasses. Larger samples may be protected during transport by covering them in aluminium foil or paper (e.g. filter paper). Plastic packaging materials should be avoided because of the presence of polymer additives that can contaminate your sample.

We are happy to advise you on the packaging procedure that suits your samples best.

What information should accompany the samples?

At least the following information should be included in the shipment of the samples:

  • a description of the problem
  • a sample list with an accurate description of all samples
  • the desired analytical technique
  • the positions on the samples that need to be analysed (possibly with photographs of the samples).
  • a contact person (with a phone number and/or email address)

This information will help us in the swift processing of your analysis order.