Cross Sectioning of Cadmiumsulphide (CdS) for Cathodoluminescence

Application Note for Leica EM TIC 3X - Industrial Manufacturing, Natural Resources

January 24, 2017

Cathodoluminescence can be used to achieve spectra and high resolution images of impurity and structural defects in semicondoctors, minerals and insulating materials.

This application note explains how to prepare a perfect sample surface for carhodoluminescence and how to use ion beam slope cutting to prepare the sample surface free of any preparation artefacts.

Process description
(benchmark values for this particular sample)

TIC 3X Parameters
Acceleration voltage6 kV
Gun current2.2 mA
Milling time5 h



  • Perfect Cross Section of CdS
  • The intrinsic peak of the ion polished surface is much higher than the peak of the medical polished surface. This prooves the preparation quality of ion beam slope cutting.

Intrinsic emission of differently prepared surface areas

(Courtesy: M. Stevens-Kalceff, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

Intrinsic emission of the surface area prepared by ion beam slope cutting (left side) and mechanical polishing (right side).

(Courtesy: M. Stevens-Kalceff, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)

CdS surface after mechanical polishing (top images) and after slope cutting (lower images) for Cathodoluminescence investigation. The surface quality is much better after ion beam slope cutting and perfect for cathodoluminescence.