SAMPLE PREPARATION DECISION TREE

[You will be analyzing: small loose grains like zircons or foraminifera (mm- or μm-scale).]

You will be arranging your sample(s) on the casting surface (we use double-sided sticky tape laid on an aluminum plate, explained on the next page) along with 2-3 grains of the appropriate mineral standard and any labels, paying special attention to the 16 mm diameter sweet spot.

Once the casting process is complete, you will need to *very* carefully grind into the analytical surface of the epoxy mount until the target surface is exposed (e.g. the cross-section of interest in a foraminifera or zircon). Remember that after grinding, you will continue to remove material from the epoxy mount during the polishing process.

Next step (leaving decision tree):

– Casting the epoxy mount