[You plan to make a thin-section of your sample.]

When preparing your billet for a thin-sectioning, cut the billet such that the analytical target will be in the center of the thin-section (and within a 16 mm-diameter circle that will become the analytical "sweet spot").

Once you have the billet cut, you will top-mount the approriate mineral standards on the billet within the "sweet spot" that contains the analytical target (illustrative image, jpg). Using a dremel drill or equivalent, drill a hole within 3 mm of the center of the mount that is no deeper than the the diameter of your mineral standard grains. Place 3-4 grains of the mineral standard in the drill hole (or holes, if necessary) and fill with a WiscSIMS-approved epoxies [Buehler EpoxiCure® 2 epoxy resin (product number: 203430064), hardener (208185016) and release agent (208185016), and Struers EpoFix Resin (40200030) and Hardener (40200031)].

Proceed with making the thin-section as normal.

Once you have a thin-section, including the top-mounted standard grains, you are almost finished. You'll just need to cut a 1-inch square from your thin-section with the target in the center, and either cut or grind the corners off to create a circular thin-section. Please label the round by engraving on the back. Magic markers should not be used as we may use ethanol to clean your sample.

This should leave you with a round, polished thin-section with the analytical target and mineral standard grains exposed within the "sweet spot." At this point your sample is ready for cleaning and gold-coating prior to WiscSIMS analysis, but you will probably need to do some imaging first.

You have reached the end of the sample preparation decision tree! You're almost ready for analysis:

– Check your sample for flatness.