Vue d'ensemble

Nanotechnologies are providing innovation in many industries.   It is necessary to analyze and evaluate the use of SEMs and Optical Microscopes for the Quality Control and Research and Development for new materials such as steel, ceramics, and semiconductors.   Every year more than 2000 SEM units are sold throughout the world.  

Observations using Scanning Electron Microscopes and Optical Microscopes normally require sample preparation.   Current methods of such sample preparation start with sample polishing in order to obtain a flat surface.  A mechanical polisher is then used with a polishing powder.   Next, ion beam or chemical etching is used.   In total, traditional preparation takes about three hours or more.   There is also a risk of sample surface damage during the etching stage, which results in an unusable sample.   High-level technical know-how and many hours are needed to get a good sample surface for analysis.

HORIBA have developed an innovative sample preparation machine the “TENSEC”which uses a rapid etching technique using a glow discharge.  

The “TENSEC” sputtering technology using Ar gas reduces the preparation time to get a true sample surface to only “ten seconds” (the World’s first).   There is now no longer any need for environmentally unfriendly etching solutions.   Now with the TENSEC anyone can prepare easily samples, without any risk.


  • Speed: Preparation time is only 10seconds.
  • Ecological: No chemical etching solution used
  • Convenient: Simple and easy-to-use

Features of the technique

  • Low energy (less than 50eV) of Ar gas plasma.   Surface of the samples are without damage.

  • Energy of Ar gas plasma is low, but the flux of Ar atoms is high.   The Ar gas pressure is hundreds of Pa.   So the TENSEC system prepares samples rapidly.

  • The Sputtering rate by Ar gas plasma depends on the sample material and crystal direction of the surface.  The structure of these materials can be observed with a microscope.

  • Ar gas plasma can remove oxidation layer and contamination of surface.   So we can get true surface of specimen.

Fabriqué par HORIBA




Power comsumptions

AC100-220V, 2kVA

Ion source

Ar plasma

Ion energy


Required gas

Ar (Purity: 99.9999%), 0.4MPa

Sample size

Maximum 100(W)×100(D)×30(H)mm

Processing area


Processing speed

*Varies according to the processing condition


Sample setting position: 1000(H)mm


Approx. 120kg


Dimensional outline drawing of TENSEC (mm)

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